Canned Wine for the Win

It’s summer in the PNW, and that means everyone is outside 24/7 soaking in as much vitamin D as Mother Nature can shine our way. Fortunately, the wine industry has caught on to the correlation between wine drinkers and outdoor enthusiasts, and there’s an uptick in producers packaging wine in cans. Because Mailbox Peak is tough enough without a heavy glass bottle in your pack!

Most cans are 12 ounces, the same size as a standard beer or soda can. Because the package seems so much smaller, it might come as a surprise to note that they contain 375 milliliters — that’s half of a bottle (21/2 glasses)! Gives “lightweight” a whole new meaning. Some, like MERF, Milbrandt, and Free Public, are slimmer 250-milliliter cans and 1½ glasses, or a third of a bottle. 

Washington producers offer an array of options, from red blends and white blends to rosé and bubbles. Oregon wineries have much the same lineup, though the red wine tends to be pinot noir instead of Bordeaux or Rhone varietals. 

House Wine, while based in Washington, sources most of its juice from California and even Chile. In addition to standards like a red blend, sauvignon blanc, and pinot noir versions, House Wine also makes sangria and several spritzers, like tropical, lemon-lime, and berry flavors. Bubbles come in the form of rosé and brut (dry).

Since rosé all day keeps the doctor away (that’s how that goes, right?), now it’s easier than ever to maintain your prescription with a frosty can of pink from Waterbrook, Cascadian Outfitters, and 14 Hands in Washington, Canned Oregon, and Underwood in Oregon. 

Hey sports fans! Our man “Merf” (aka David Merfeld, North Star, and MERF) has your back. His eponymous MERF label produces canned versions of the MERF Cabernet Sauvignon and MERF Chardonnay, available on premise at CenturyLink Field and T-Mobile Park. A self-proclaimed science junkie, Merf had his team conduct numerous tests and container revisions to make sure the experience of drinking wine from the can is identical to the bottle in terms of flavor and freshness. Beer may still reign supreme at sporting events, but at least wine drinkers can join the can-in-hand club.

Local canned wines you have to try:

14 Hands Winery

  • Bubbles, White Blend, Columbia Valley, $5.99 
    • An off-dry, fruity blend of aromatic white grapes, Muscat lends orange blossom notes to the nose followed by citrus, especially tangerine, on the palate. Very zesty.
  • Rosé, Washington State, $5.99
    • Crisp and dry with pink grapefruit and rose petals on the nose, adding strawberries and rhubarb on the palate.
  • Pinot Grigio, Washington State, $5.99
    • A refreshing combination of pear, melon, and citrus — especially grapefruit.

Waterbrook 

  • Rosé, Columbia Valley, $6.99
    • Aavailable in the PNW only.

MERF

  • Chardonnay, Columbia Valley 
    • Price determined at location of sale
    • Rich and balanced with pear, apple, and subtle oak integration.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 
    • Price determined at location of sale
    • Fruit-forward with rich, juicy plum and cherry, the tannins are mild. Easy to drink despite its youth.

Cascadian Outfitters by Goose Ridge

  • Rosé, Columbia Valley, $30/6 pack
    • Deep pink, redolent of strawberries and rose petals, fruity and round without being cloying.
  • Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $30/six-pack 
    • Fruity, lighter-bodied red filled with cherries, plums, and very little tannin influence.

Canned Oregon

  • Rosé Bubbles, Oregon, $6.99
    • Pink starburst, watermelon, red berry sparkles.
  • Pinot Gris, Oregon, $6.99 
    • Papaya and melon, with a side of sandy beach views.
  • Pinot Noir, Oregon, $6.99
    • Juicy velvet with red raspberries, cherries, and rose petals.
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