Summer Sippin’. Think Inside the Box (and Can)

Summer Sippin’. Think Inside the Box (and Can)

It’s officially Summer, so you’re going to need some wines for all those summer activities, like boating, picnics, pool parties, camping, and tailgating! For all those warm-weather, outdoor activities, the refreshment needs to be easy to chill, easy to transport and preferably in an unbreakable container. Consider trying some of the new canned or boxed wines out there!

Wait! Before you hit the exit and dismiss this post, open your mind, read on, and ponder the idea of an alternative vessel. There are some very credible wines found in alternative packaging that are worth checking out.  In the same manner as making choices for traditionally packaged wines, it is, in most cases, to both consider the source, and be willing to pay a bit more than the mass-produced versions. Great strides have been taken in the care and consideration of the packaging for some more premium and small-production box and canned wines. For example, the cans are not the same cans your favorite soda come in; they are lined cans, and the slim design is beneficial to its containment as well. Box wines have a sealed spout and can keep wines fresh (when kept in temperature control) for up to six weeks! 

These are just a few canned wines that are worth trying, Dear Mom Wine Co. Sparkletown from Oregon is one.  In fact, if you can, purchase a canned version and the bottled version and do a blind comparison. It’s a fun experiment, and you probably will be pleasantly surprised with a positive outcome.  Broadbent Vinho Verde is available in both a white and rosé. They are labeled as “Spritzy White,” and “Spritzy Rosé,” both hailing from Portugal, in the Barcelos commune, from a small region in Northern Portugal. The white is a blend of 50 percent Loureiro, 40 percent Trajadura, and 10 percent Pederna. With notes of fresh, tart green apple, white peach, and melon flavors, and with a crisp and zesty finish, it is a perfect summer sipper. The Rosé is a blend of 40 percent Borraçal, 30 percent Espadeiro, 20 percent Amaral, and 10 percent Vinhão. The Rosé has notes of pomegranate, raspberry, and pear. Both won the international canned wine competition, 2022. 

Several local (to Virginia) wineries are also doing wines in cans and worth seeking out. King Family, is one of those wineries that produces an exceptional Rosé, called Crosé,  and is packaged in both a bottle and can version. It is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. The juice was left on the skins for just two days, then into the tank for three weeks, resting on the lees (grape must) until filtering and bottling. The wine has notes of grapefruit, lime, watermelon, and a light grassiness on the nose. One other standout is a rosé named Erato, from Muse Vineyards. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes that are harvested early and fermented like a white wine in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks. This wine is also found both in bottle and in the can.

One great benefit of the boxed wine is that even after opening, the wine will stay fresh for weeks, so it makes it a great choice for parties, camping, boating, or even just as your daily sipper. You will not feel bad if you have one glass and cannot finish it; you have weeks to tackle that challenge! Boxed wines have a bladder inside and a sealed spout, so they’re excellent for boating, tail gating, or any other recreation where you have a cooler. Throw the bag in ice and you are all set, and a box is comparable to four bottles, so very budget friendly! There are now boxed wines that fully surpass the quality of the original grocery store versions. You can find premium wines from France, California, Spain and Argentina—all respectable wine regions. Here are just a few examples:

La Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet Premium wine, from Les Costières de Pomerols, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. This is a wonderfully crisp wine, great for summer and oysters! 100 percent Picpoul, the nose is elegant, with aromas of fresh citrus fruit, especially grapefruit. It is well-balanced with typical zesty acidity. Known as the “Muscadet of the South,” Picpoul is perfect with oysters and fresh seafood. 

True to its name, “Really Good Box Wine” is just that—really good, boxed wine! The company is all about sustainability and producing a quality product. Most mass-produced wines in a box taste the same every year, because they add stabilizers and other “stuff,” like additional sulfites, to ensure a consistent product. These wines are good because they source good fruit from premium sites, added sulfites (if any) are very limited and the people making the wine care about making an exceptional wine. Currently their lineup includes a Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley, CA; an Un-Oaked Chardonnay, from Yakima, WA; Cabernet Franc Rosé from Lodi, CA; Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, CA; and a Pinot Noir from San Luis Obispo, CA. With an average price between $40-$60, and containing the equivalent of four bottles of wine, that is a great deal! 

If you are aware of the great producer of Pinot Noir, Sokul Blosser, you may know that they now have a version in a box as well as does Maipe, known for their Malbec. La Vieille Ferme, from the Rhone Valley, makes a Rosé and a Red blend that are both quality wines to seek out. 

Your next summer party, camping or boating trip is worth having some good wine to enjoy, and now you have a good path forward and some ideas of wines to seek out. Whether you want a good everyday wine for yourself, but hate opening a whole bottle, or have a party coming up for some wine-loving friends and need to stick to budget, or have a trip planned that includes a cooler, and needs to be easy and safe to transport, there is a can or box in your future! 

“The best way to learn about wine is by drinking.” —Alexis Lichine.


Be the first to comment...

Leave a comment
* Your email address will not be published