Canned wine is having its day in the sun. Between Cinespia screenings and Hollywood Bowl shows, cans of rosé, sparkling whites and reds are becoming a staple in Angelenos’ picnic baskets. New selections are popping up all over the city, from $3.99 four-packs of Trader Joe’s Simpler Wines to $10 16-ounce cans of “small-batch” cabernet. Some are what you’d expect out of a canned wine but others are actually quite delicious.
But here’s the real reason we drink
In aid of smart picnicking, and because stopping by an artisan cheese shop isn’t always in the cards, we’ve researched great canned wine pairings that can be found at the grocery store.
Barefoot Moscato Spritzer and fried chicken
Ralphs fried chicken, to be exact. It’s battered and fried every morning, and at $8 for eight juicy pieces, one platter can feed a crowd. Drink it with Barefoot's Moscato spritzer for a sweet and effervescent balance to the crisp and savory chicken. At 5 percent ABV, this can will get you about as buzzed as a can of Bud Light and costs roughly $10 for a four-pack. Both items can be purchased at Ralphs, but we’re confident that any fried chicken/sparkling white wine combo will provide a similar effect.
Alloy Wine Works Everyday Rosé and Savorish Garlic Chive Chèvre snack packs
These $6.99 tallboys of 12.5 percent ABV Grenache rosé are excellent, and pair well with everything from mellow cheese to spicy wasabi peas. We recommend these $5 Savorish snack packs, which are basically grown-up Handy Snacks (yep, the ones from the ’90s with the red stick) and perfect for smart picnicking. A scoop of herby goat cheese and a pile of flatbread crackers are presented in a sleek little box, freeing us from purchasing a whole tube of chèvre with a box of 45 water crackers. Savorish snack packs and Everyday Rosé can be found at Gelson’s and Whole Foods.
Sofia Mini Blanc de Blanc with Sweet Olive Oil Tortas and goat brie
If sweets are on your mind, the 11.5 percent ABV Sofia Coppola mini cans pair beautifully with Ines Rosales Sweet Olive Oil Tortas smeared with goat brie. Spanish olive oil tortas are an excellent vehicle for milder cheeses, especially the sweet variety, which add a unique spin to the usual cheese-and-cracker combo. The pinot blanc blend completes the flavor trifecta by playing the crisp counterpart to the sugary torta and tangy brie.
Though the wine and brie can be purchased at most grocery stores, the tortas can be found at Whole Foods and Whole Foods 365. Ines Rosalas tortas, $5.79; Wolwich triple crème goat brie, $6.99; Sofia Minis, 4-pack, $16.99.
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Simpler Wines White with smoked sardines and Manzanilla olives
Trader Joe’s is a treasure trove of snacks and ridiculously cheap wine. Its canned wine costs $4 for a pack of four, so it’s no surprise that Simpler Wines are not superior in taste. But at 10 percent ABV per can, they're completely acceptable for boozy picnics. The muted flavor works as a palate cleanser for bold and briny flavors, such as the single-serving packs of pitted Manzanilla olives for just 99 cents apiece, and smoked sardines in oil for $1.69. Eat the sardines with multigrain crackers to add a touch of sweetness and crunch to the ensemble.
Fiction Red with cured meats and cheeses
Canned red is tougher than whites and pinks, but this Fiction 14.7 percent ABV red blend defies the odds. It’s a perfect balance of dryness and fruit, which pairs well with meats and cheeses. No need to be adventurous with this one. Grab some salami and provolone from the deli counter, or pick up a pack of Fiorucci mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto ($4.79 at Whole Foods), and you’re in business. Fiction Red is made by Field Recordings Wine, which also produces the aforementioned Everyday Rosé, so it’s no surprise that this wine is a winner. Get it at Whole Foods or Gelson's for $9.99.