The 11 best canned wines of 2021, taste-tested and approved

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  • Canned wines are a growing trend, and are conveniently portable to drink outside or pack for a trip.
  • While canned wines won’t replace savoring a truly great bottle, they’re fun for picnics and rooftops alike.
  • I spent a day taste-testing canned wine options and detailed my top picks below.

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Let’s face it — restaurant dining experiences are fewer than they once had been, so you may want to save that quality bottle of wine in your home kitchen for a special occasion. Canned wines provide a cheaper and more convenient, but equally as refreshing, alternative to a costly cabernet, and are great for bringing on picnics in a cooler during the warmer months. And you won’t have to worry about breakable bottles or glasses as you chuck a few in your bag to enjoy on the beach or your rooftop.

And, these portable pinot grigios, among others, make the cutest photo-ops, featuring modern packaging that will want you to reach for them inside your refrigerator. 

To be clear, no canned wine is really going to replace a high-end bottle, or for that matter, even a pretty decent one. As Ashleigh Barrowman, a wine expert and natural winemaker in New Zealand put it, “I wouldn’t be making a fine wine that needs cellaring into a can, but for a cheap, fun, easy-drinking wine, why not?” Though she is quick to add, “No serious wine connoisseur or professional would hand on heart say canned wine showcases wine in its best light.”

I spent a beautiful day outside with a couple of friends (socially distanced and with masks, of course) taste-testing canned wines myself. While I’m no sommelier, I’ve done my fair share of virtual wine tastings throughout quarantine, so was eager to see how these cans would stack up. Of course, tastes are totally subjective, and what I find delightful and crisp someone else might find too dry or fruity. But my friends and I came to enough of a consensus on our collective favorites that I feel confident recommending these canned concoctions.

One warning I should also offer that we learned pretty quickly: Canned wines are not the same as drinking cans of beer. Wines typically have a much higher amount of alcohol per can than beers or spiked seltzers, so don’t start knocking cans back too quickly. Barrowman also cautioned canned wine drinkers to consider the amount of alcohol in each can. “A standard glass pour is 150ml, and most cans are at least 250-300ml. Your average consumers treating one can as one glass is in for a big drinking session and a hangover for sure,” she noted.

Barrowman offered one other caveat to canned wines that’s important to consider. “With wine, there are no regulations regarding listing ingredients. So for example if you are vegan, and if the label does not specially state the wine is vegan, you are likely to be drinking a wine that has been fined with egg whites, milk, or fish products.” That’s also important to keep in mind for anyone with allergies.

However, on a more positive note, Barrowman also touted the benefits of cans, including some for the environment. “It’s more sustainable than glass, costs less to produce and recycle than glass, is easily stored, less prone to breakages, and ideal for festivals where broken glass can become a safety concern.”

So, if you’re ready to sip something light or bubbly straight from the can, give these a try.

The best canned wines to try:

Underwood by Union Wine Company

Underwood is Union Wine Company’s canned branch and they have mastered the art. The more traditional offerings like rosé and pinot gris are excellent, but their unique offerings really set them apart. The Mei Wine option, a collaboration with LA chef Mei Lin, was a standout favorite of the day thanks to its interesting flavor profile that includes notes of lemongrass, yuzu, tropical flavors like guava, and more.

The size of these cans are on the bigger end, with each coming out to the equivalent of half a bottle of wine, but the percent of alcohol is lower than many other options — and that can be a very good thing if you’re trying to make it through the full day of day drinking.  

Price: $8.99 for a 375ml can

Worth a taste: 

  • Mei Wine
  • Strawberry Cooler
  • Pinot Gris

Pampelonne Sparkling Wine Cocktails

Admittedly, it gets into a gray area when you start including wine cocktails and spritzers rather than just traditional wines since that could be an entire category in its own right. But, Pampelonne wine cocktails are certainly in the spirit of easy, breezy summer drinking on-the-go and were by far some of our favorites of the day, so it felt right to include them. 

The colorful cans are eye-catching and the flavors are smooth and delicious. The Rosé Lime is especially notable and was a top contender our favorite overall.    

Price: $11.99 for a four-pack (250 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Rosé Lime
  • Blood Orange Spritz

House Wine

Created in Walla Walla, Washington, House Wine was conceived by an ex-rock n’ roll manager (yes, really), and the head winemaker has a motto truly fit for canned wines: don’t overthink it, just drink it.

From what we tried, there doesn’t seem to be a bad option in the mix. The Brut Bubbles was especially refreshing in the New York summer humidity and the Sauvignon Blanc was one of the best straight-forward, non-bubbly wine options we tried.

Price: $4.99 for a can (375 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Rosé Bubbles
  • Brut Bubbles
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Rosé all day

With a name like Rosé all day, you know this company gets the spirit of casual but tasty sipping options for warmer months (though I am personally a believer in drinking rosé all year). There’s a good chance you’ve come across this buzzy brand’s bottles on social media even if you weren’t aware it also comes in can form. Harvested and bottled/canned in southern France, the company strictly focuses on rosé, as the name suggests.

I found the rosé with bubbles to be a little better than the traditional rosé, but both were easy to drink and on the dryer side, which I prefer. The brand also just recently launched an organic grapefruit spritz that those on a health kick might want to consider since it has less sugar, calories, and alcohol than the other options.

Price: $10.98 for a four-pack (250 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Rosé with bubbles
  • Rosé
  • Spritz

Day Drinking by Little Big Town

Another aptly named brand, Day Drinking comes from the three-time Grammy Award-winning country band, Little Big Town. And yes, they also have a song called Day Drinking that you should have on in the background while sipping these libations.

The Watermelon Rosé was a singular favorite of our tasting day thanks to its perfectly sunny flavors and the watermelon being just the right amount without becoming overpowering. Those who like wines on the sweeter side might also enjoy the Southern Peach option.  

Price: $35.99 for a 6-pack (375 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Watermelon Rosé
  • Southern Peach

McBride Sisters Collection

Good options for those looking for straight-forward wines without fussy flavors, the McBride Sisters collection offers two options for canned wines. Both are tasty and easy to drink. 

The sisters behind the name grew up separately, one in California and the other in New Zealand, before finally finding each other and ultimately creating the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States. One collection of bottles they sell is called Black Girl Magic, and the canned branch is named She Can. 

The sisters also created ‘The McBride Sisters She Can Professional Development Fund’ to promote the professional advancement of women in the wine industry, though they are now reworking the fund to help those affected by the current COVID-19 situation.   

Price: $6.49 for a can (375 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Rosé
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Kim Crawford

You’ve probably picked up a few bottles of Kim Crawford at your local Target at some point, and now you can also pick up their recently launched cans. 

I preferred the rosé to the Sauvignon Blanc. While these didn’t blow us away in terms of the flavor profile, they were consistent with what you’d get from the bottles and we all agreed we would be perfectly content sipping on these at a backyard barbecue or summer happy hour. But what really makes this an attractive option is the more affordable price point and the fact that you can get a two-pack if you’re just grabbing wine for yourself or you and a friend. 

Price: $5.99 for a two-pack (250 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Rosé
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Babe

This is another brand you’ve likely come across while scrolling through Instagram. Their bottles usually come with quippy names like Winter Is the Worst Red Wine and Family Time Is Hard Pinot Grigio. 

For the cans, they’ve kept it simple: Babe Grigio, Babe Rosé, and Babe Red. All come with bubbles, which made the red a little strange, but the rosé and grigio attractive. 

Price: $3.99 for a can or $13.99 for a four-pack (250 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Rosé 
  • Grigio

ManCan

As previously noted, a lot of canned wines are clearly marketed towards women (see Babe directly above and Bev directly below). If packaging is a major factor in your choice of drink (and let’s be honest we’ve all picked out a wine strictly based on the label at least once), and you are looking for a brand geared towards men, then ManCan just might resonate with you.

None of the red wine canned options we tried were our absolute favorites of the day, and I am generally hesitant about a wine that is simply called “Red Wine” as opposed to any specific type. But I must admit that this was our favorite of the reds we did try, so if you’re strictly a red wine drinker this is a solid option.

Price: $29.99 for a four-pack (375 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Red wine
  • Graham + Fisk’s Rosé with bubbles

Bev

Bev is all about the “Made by Chicks” energy and comes in bright yellow, turquoise, and scarlet cans. The cans say “Dry + A Lil’ Fizzy” right on them and that is an excellent description. 

As an added bonus, these wines have no sugar and 100 calories. But be warned, they also have 11.9% ALC/VOL, so don’t start chugging. One downside is that these only come in eight-packs, which is equivalent to more than two bottles. 

Price: $49 for an eight-pack or $99 for a 24-pack (250 ml each)

Worth a taste: 

  • Rosé
  • Gris
  • Blanc

Presto

Of all the canned wines on this list, Presto is the only brand I did not personally try. However, it came highly recommended by both friends and family and is certainly up next for me to taste.

This is for bubbly lovers who don’t want to actually pop bottles since these are Proseccos and all come with bubbles. Red lovers will want to sample their newest addition, which is a bubbly Lambrusco. I myself will likely opt for a sparkling rosé and try out the Raspberry Lemon Sparkler recipe found on their website.   

Price: $38.99 for a four-pack

Worth a taste: 

  • Sparkling rosé
  • Prosecco Brut
  • Lambrusco

Check out our other beverage roundups

  • The best Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wines for any budget
  • Quarantine cocktails: Here’s what we’re drinking at home
  • 17 virtual wine tastings hosted by vineyards, experts, and winemakers from around the world
  • The 13 best vodkas, according to mixologists and spirits experts
  • The best instant coffee, according to an industry expert’s taste test

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