Can you ever go wrong with pink wine? Yes, sometimes
Depending on your life and schedule and address, we're either at the high part of summer or getting towards the end of things. Kids are going back to school, there are backpacks and college ruled notebooks in the seasonal aisle instead of giant flamingo floats and beach towels, and it feels silly to buy another pair of sandals. But thanks to global warming patterns, even if things seem headed towards fall, we have, at least, another six weeks of hot weather, which means probably two more months of drinking rosé outside. And truly we are a new wonderland of rosé: You can get it not just in bottles, but in boxes and, yes, dear readers, in cans. Our affection for canned wine is well documented: it's portable, delicious, and perfect for drinking in public. So it's only appropriate, after our ranking of the best white and red cans, to bring you our ranking of canned rosé.
We taste tested nine different cans of rosé, and all had their merits and drawbacks. If you're not a fan of the metallic taste that drinking out of a can necessarily imparts, these aren't for you. Seven of the nine cans are conveniently available by delivery from FreshDirect, a serious bonus if you don't want to slog them back from the liquor store. (The Barefoot Spritzer, the House Wine, the Nomikai, and the Alloy were sourced from different Brooklyn wine stores). Here were the best, the worst, and the in-between.
The Overall Winner: Nomikai Fizzy Califonia Rosé
The canned pink wine that had the most points in our taste test overall was the Nomikai Fizzy California Rosé, which had a pleasant effervescence to it without being too sweet. It reminded me of the classic Sofia Coppola Blanc de Blanc, both because it felt like a wine you could easily drink many cans of, and because the cans were of similar size. To be honest, that was the only drawback: at 187 ml per can, unlike some of the other offerings, there wasn't all that much wine in the can.
The Best Non-Fizzy Rosés: Maris Rosé Cans and Ruza Rosé Cans
Most of the canned rosés we tried were carbonated. That's not surprising: the can format makes carbonation a natural choice, and there's even something mildly disconcerting about popping the tab on a still drink. But if fizziness isn't your thing, there are still several rosé-in-a-can brands on the market that cater to you. Two of the highest ranked rosés in our taste testing overall were the Maris and Ruza cans, with our team pretty evenly split on which one was best. Both come in a 250 ml can, or roughly two to two-and-half glasses of wine, depending on how heavy the pour is. (You can buy them both in 4-packs for $15.99, which is pretty reasonable for the equivalent of a large bottle of wine.) The Maris was drier and more acidic, with a pleasant lingering aftertaste, while the Ruza was fuller and rounder tasting. Both feel like a more highbrow canned wine, and both would be excellent additions to your beach day or picnic.
The Best Not-Exactly-Rosé: Ramona Pink Grapefruit Cans
Included in this round-up are two canned wine-adjacent drinks. The first is Ramona Pink Grapefruit, a hybrid between a spritzer and a wine cooler. if you're looking for a straight-up rosé, Ramona isn't for you, because, well, that's not what it is. It's a mixture of grapefruit juice and wine in a kicky, graphic can. But it's also shockingly delicious on its own, managing to avoid being overly bitter or overly sweet. It tastes closer to a Paloma, that classic tequila and grapefruit soda cocktail, than a true rosé. Not all our staff was won over, but those more inclined towards a lighter, fruitier drink were all for it.
The Rosé Can To Bring On a Boat: Barefoot Refresh Rosé Spritzer
Like the Ramona, the Barefoot Spritzer is not an actual rosé so much as a rosé cocktail in a can. It has "aromas of pomegranate and raspberry," and is an overall sweeter, fruitier take on the canned wine. If those sound like things you don't like already, then skip this one. But if that sounds like kind of a delightful thing to bring with you while speeding around on a boat somewhere, it's not a bad choice.
The Worst Overall: Babe Rosé With Bubbles
A product from the makers of White Girl Rosé, Babe is perhaps the canned rosé that's been most widely distributed of the group we tried. Alas, it was also hands-down one of the least favorite in the group. There was an unpleasant citric aftertaste that the light carbonation didn't help mask. Skip this one.
The Most Wine For Your Can: Alloy Everyday Rosé
Alloy makes the best canned red wine you can buy, or at least that we could find, so we were excited to try their rosé. It wasn't the winner of the pack, but it's a very solid offering, and Alloy's cans are no joke: at 500 ml per can, Alloy is two-thirds of a regular bottle of wine, and therefore a great option for sharing. Or, you know, not sharing.
Pretty Good, Not Bad, We Can't Complain: Underwood Oregon Rosé
Underwood was one of the pioneers in the whole wine-can trend, so it's not surprising that they turn out a pretty decent rosé. It wasn't one that had anyone jumping up and down, but nor was it cloying, sweet, or metallic. It was a very solid choice, especially if you're looking for something larger than your typical 250 ml can but not quite as much as the Alloy.
I've had luck with other house wine offerings, so it was a little bit of a drag with their canned pink wine wasn't all that I hoped it would be. Offensive? Not really. But just OK.