Perfect for a summer picnic, quality canned wine is everywhere

By Evan Kleiman

Recommended by a few of LA’s top wine sellers, Las Jaras Waves canned wine is a summer favorite. Credit: Las Jaras Waves

You’re meeting friends for a picnic. Not everyone drinks, but you’d like a glass or two of wine, and you don’t want to deal with a bottle. Or maybe you’re having friends over for a backyard get-together. Everyone drinks something different, and you want to be a good host. It’s time to explore the canned wine you’ve seen at your local market or wine shop. I know that wine in a can seems strange, just seeing the two words “wine” and “can” next to each other seems wrong. But the quality of wine in cans has skyrocketed, making the beverage category worth a serious look.

The types of wine that are best served by a can are those meant to be drunk young – not vintage wines that need aging in a bottle with a cork. While most cans are filled with commodity wines, more premium wineries are jumping in and putting their most popular varietals in the lighter carbon footprint packaging. It’s worth noting that the nature of the package lends itself to wines that need a stable environment, like low interference, or “natural” wines that may not benefit from the air exchange of a corked bottle. And of course the metal of the can is perfect for a quick chill to enjoy a refreshing summer quaff. So it’s not surprising that white wine, rosé, and bubbles are well represented. After all, we’re used to the refreshing quality of sodas and beer in cans. 

I reached out to noted local wine seller Jill Bernheimer of DomaineLA to ask what she thought of the category and if she carried any canned wines. She says, “We carry Las Jaras Waves Rosé in a can. It's a simple, poolside quaffer.” 

It was interesting that when I asked Miriam Yoo of Flask and Field at The Row in DTLA, she name-checked the same wine saying, “We’d love to shout out Waves canned wines by Las Jaras. … White rose and red are currently available.”

Caroline Styne, co-owner of and wine director of the Lucques Group of restaurants and the wine director of Hollywood Bowl Food & Wine, was asked by food writer Sharon Boorstin about her canned wine picks for the Los Angeles Times. I was eager to read what she thought of the category and what she recommends as a master sommelier with an impeccable reputation. It seemed natural that the Lucques Groups foray into serving food and beverages at the Hollywood Bowl would open her up to wines that are perfect for picnics, and indeed that was the case. Her recommendations are: The sommelier curated brand Nomadica, Farmstrong Field Red, Scribe Winery’s Una Lou Rosé, and Scarpetta Wine’s Frico Frizzante.

More advice from Ms. Bernheimer: “People forget that a 375 ml can is actually a half bottle of wine! So beware when drinking cans at a BBQ or a pool party. They are deceptive and read smaller than their actual volume.” So perhaps look for the smaller minis like Coppola’s Blanc de Blancs Sofia that comes in185 ml cans. Most wine in cans comes in 250 ml to 375 ml cans. That makes four-packs equivalent to a generous one to two bottles of wine.