The Cans of Summer 2019

How we have grown since last year. The cans in my local supermarket are squeezing the bottles out. Come summer time it’s all bougie labels and sweating cans. So we can feel extra when wearing next to nothing. And sweating. I learned a lot last year. I’m altering my highly scientific totally unbiased study of cans. Thing one: I still stand by last year’s selections so feel free to review those here: Ellen Clifford: From Cristal to Cans Thing two: I’m no longer evaluating the wine in can versus in glass. If you are buying a canned wine, that aluminum vessel has one purpose. Being Canned. And by virtue of that Portable and Poppable. If you are in a glass-using situation get a friggin’ bottle. Okay? I don’t know why I got so aggressive right there. Apologies. Did I mention I’m editing this in a heatwave? Thing three: I’m leaving out wine-based beverages (spritzers, coolers, etc.) this time. I wouldn’t mind reviewing them in their own right sometime, but they really are Another Beverage. Thing four: Labels matter. A can is an aesthetic choice, too. With bottles you only are looking at the bottle long enough to pour the wine in your glass. With a can you are face-to-face with that label throughout the whole drink. And lord knows you want a cute wine next to your cute face on the Insta. I do. Lastly, you’ll have to read to the end for what wine I’m dragging into the shower. And despite my misgivings on the thing that is shower wine, cans are actually THE most appropriate way to transport your wine into your mouth without transporting Herbal Essences into your wine. Okay enough. Here come the cans of 2019. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ROSÉ Starting with this category because if I’m married to Chenin Blanc, rosé wines are my…well to tell truth I’m THEIR b**ch. Pacific Rim and Company “Eufloria” Found at Vons. Exceeded expectations. Taste: It’s all ripe fun citrus (dancing tangerines I tell you) and complex richness and velvet and laced with rose petals and white nectarines. Have before a meal. Have as meal. Actually, no don’t do that. Do as I say not as I do (I definitely did the former). Huh, I should make dinner then finish this review. Can: Gorgeous. It has a richness and wildness. Artist Flora Bowley’s philosophy, according to their website, is one of layering and color diversity which is appropriate for a rosé blended of many grape varieties. Domaine Casanova Rosé Whole Foods find! It is a chic petite size can. If you want more than one can you won’t feel bad. Kind of like those “fun-size” candy bars. You WILL have more but…they are tiny! It hails from Corsica , which, if you read my rosé article you might remember is killing the pink wine game. Here’s the thing: I poured some out just cause I wanted to see the pink and…it was only slightly more pink than a blanc de noirs wine aka it had a tiny tiny tiny hint but like…was barely pink. Fortunately, who cares? It is in a can. Tell me it is pink and I won’t care that it barely is. Taste: Zing! That is my heartstrings and acid receptors. It’s all citrus but also has a really good minerality. In all honesty, it tastes like a hybrid of Tavel and Côtes de Provence . Can: A sexy redhead in a bathing suit lounging in a world that looks a bit sunny for me but is super chic and fun. I dream of being that ginger. Joe to Go Rosé by Wine by Joe Dobbs You’d kind of think this must be a coffee drink but no, this is solid Oregon wine and I’m in. Taste: I’ll call it ziptastic. It has acid. It has a spine. It speaks to fruit at optimal but not over-ripeness. Balance by Joe. Can: Sort of not exciting until you zoom in on the dude at the bottom who is dashing off with giant bottles under his arms like they were your casual baguettes. Run with the wine, Joe! WHITE I’m not combining rosé and white into categories this year because there were too many delicious white wines not to get their own slot. But I am skipping any canned Chardonnay. I have too many fake-oak-essence wounds on my soul. My therapist has the most funnest job. Heal my wine trauma! Prophecy Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc Don’t confuse Martinborough with Marlborough. They are close, but the former, where this wine is from, is on the north island of New Zealand. It’s just a tad cooler and different than famed Marlborough to the south. Taste: Refreshment. Obvi NZ SB (obviously New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc sorry I will try to refrain from millennial-speak) but not overwhelmingly so. You are not sucking on a gooseberry. You are drinking wine infused with aforementioned berries, and it is extra refreshing. Just the amount of astringency and grass. Fresh cut lawn on a cool day as opposed to a hot one. Can: Bottle or can, I adore Prophecy labels. They appeal to my teenage Wiccan soul in that they look esoteric and like they should be on Tarot cards. Love Prophecy’s label art for its sex and mystique. Canned Oregon Pinot Gris Oregon showing up and shining has been a recurring theme recently! Taste: White and yellow peach. Melon fun. Depth. Complexity I don’t expect. And a texture of thinly ribbed corduroy. Do you know what I mean? It is when something is plush but has teeny tiny bones holding the structure up. Can: Their cans are THE BEST because they all have stick figures doing the various activities they suggest to pair with the wine. Pinot Gris calls for cycling, golfing, surfing, putting up a tent, or (the one activity on all cans) cheers-ing. I’m really good at the last one but you should know your girl Ellen could pitch the hell out of a tent. I’ll drive that stake into the ground. Crafter’s Union Pinot Grigio Opened this with my papa and he, who I am increasingly snobbifying, declared it fun and yummy AF. Well he didn’t say AF but he did ask for more sips after saying he just wanted a taste. Taste: Zippy! Hints of lees and bread but has a body with a bite. Well-toned. I kept drinking after papa Clifford went to sleep because it was too delicious. Can: It’s fine. Soothing blue. Actually if you are super into baby blue, it's parfait for you and would match great with millennial pink. But I’d change the font. BUBBLES Blanc, rosé, and …red?! I know we are really breaking expectations this year. Presto Lambrusco The aforementioned red. Lambrusco is a grape with myriad styles. It can be dry as a bone, and is also made in varying sweet styles. But, WELL-MADE (disclaimer there) Lambrusco it is always fun no matter the sugar level. Taste: What I imagine purple geodes would taste like if, much like there is a “blue” flavor to Monster energy drinks there was a “purple geode” flavor for wine. Sparkly, purple-y, deep, prickly and…is “fun” a flavor? Can: This gets a meh, especially on font. But it is purple so…did I mention fun? Purple is the best color. Coppola Rosé Brut The sophisticate that remains friendly and surprisingly chill. The straw is cute although I mostly didn’t want to use it. Taste: It has a sharper texture than I remember the blanc bubbles from Coppola having. Enlivening. A little peach. A surprising amount of mineral. You almost wouldn’t know it was the rosé version as brut and brute-ish as it is—but in a good way. If you are into a little bubble abuse. Can: Kind of boring but there’s the shtick of the straw so they get bonus points if you are into that but also maybe demerit points because we are supposed to not be using so much plastic? DANGIT I WAS GONNA LEAVE RED OUT Last year’s reds left me so cold about red wine being good in a can that I was going to leave them out entirely. But then of course some friends told me they had things I HAD to try and here we are. I found some GREAT reds. Canned Oregon Pinot Noir Dear Oregon, never quit. Taste: You know how good Pinot sometimes tastes Cherry Coke-esque? Maybe this is why PN in a can works. It conjures up a cherry coke without being sweet. Also this baby is loaded with spicy flavors. Think clove. It is a damn party in a can. Hell maybe the can is the party. It can probably rage too. Can: As I mentioned in the Pinot Gris review they pair activities with wine. The Pinot picks are walking/hiking (not sure which but with a walking stick), kayaking, downhill skiing, playing guitar/sitting listening to guitar by a campfire, and (as I mentioned) cheers-ing. If you can operate a kayak and drink pinot at the same time not just my hat but like everything off to you. Sans Wine Co. Carbonic Carignan, Poor Ranch Vineyard ‘Coyote Rock Block’ Mendocino 2018 Okay believe it or not I have two more reds. And both are from a natural wine company. “Sans” means “without". They don’t use additives, chemicals, or sulfites…but they DO have the knowledge! They know how to make great wine. Taste: Juicy as you can imagine. As I sip and close my eyes and see a Kool-Aid red crystal clear geyser. Which come to think of it sounds scary but this wine is a good buddy. 76 year old vines so a close, elderly pal. There is so much fruit and some lavender and just…red berry juice. Cans: The Sans Cans are comely. I love the muted Burgundy red of this can. Sans Wine Co. Zinfandel, Poor Ranch Vineyard ‘Easter Block’-Mendocino 2017 I really did not think it could be done. It seems like something that should not work and you know what? It does. The berries come from head-trained vines that have never been irrigated and are certified organic and I certify them as Gulpable. Taste: This is a spicy red! Dried and fresh strawberries, white pepper and licorice. And delight. Can: Goth-ish black with an un-goth-ish yellow sunflower. I enjoy the juxtaposition. SHOWER WINE Can any can of wine technically be the best shower wine? Granted, the suggested stick figures on the side of my pick suggest Frisby with your pup, lounging under an umbrella on a beach, something on a board I think is either skateboarding, surfing or snowboarding, dancing whilst bbq-ing or just toasting. Next year they should add a redhead imbibing in the shower. Canned Oregon’s Pink Rosé Bubble was robust but refreshing but had an edge and it tasted terrific chilled under the hot spray. I think last year’s shower can was also pink bubbles, come to think of it. Someday I’ll write a column solely exploring pink bubbles in the bath. In the meantime, get yourself a can and have your own party. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: Old World vs. New World Round Seven: Viognier! Summer Cocktails: Sparkling not Spritzing Up Your Life Old World vs. New World Round Six: Syrah! May Day! May Day! Emergency Drinks in Dire Straits Pink Wine, Pink Wine Everywhere Old World vs. New World Round Five: Zinfandel! But Is It Vegan? Classic Pairings for the Veggie Soul: Pairing Five You can also listen to Ellen's podcast with Shaughn Buchholz, The Wine Situation here .