Enjoying wine in a park or at the beach no longer means pouring a bottle into a Thermos or hiding in shame behind your cheap box of Franzia wine.
There are now several high-quality options in sleek, easy-to-grab containers that will make you feel like the coolest person at the picnic.
“Portable wines are definitely coming into their own,” says Alexis Korman, a contributing travel editor for Wine Enthusiast. “It’s losing the perception that it’s just crap wine.”
Wine in alternative containers has long been popular in Europe without the stigma, Korman says. As winemakers search for alternatives to cork, an endangered species, Tetra Paks and cans are obvious alternatives. A bonus? Many have a lighter impact on the environment than shipping around heavy glass bottles.
Here are some ideas on some easy-to-pack wines to quaff while you’re enjoying the remainder of the summer outdoors:
Packaging: 375 ml cans
Underwood, from Union Wine Company in Oregon was — and still is — sold in bottles, but the company tried canning for a food festival, and the response was so positive the company decided to make the cans part of the permanent line up.
The sleek, minimalist packing takes a nod from the craft beer movement, and the company has adopted the hashtag #pinkiesdown for its push to enjoy quality wine in a less stuffy way.
The varietals are young and fruit-forward, and include a pinot noir, pinot gris and rosé, which are better suited for canning, says Union Wine Company owner Ryan Harms. The fact that putting the same amount of wine in cans rather than glass bottles costs him 40 percent less is an added bonus.
Packaging: One-liter Tetra Pak
We hear that George and Amal Clooney are fans of this organic and biodynamic wine, recently visiting a vineyard in Chianti where grapes for the wine are blended.
The Tetra Pak cartons weigh far less than glass bottles, so they’re easier to stash in bag or picnic basket and they reduce the wine’s environmental impact. The wine comes in a Grillo, a crisp white from Sicily, and Sangiovese, a medium-bodied red from Tuscany.
Packaging: 187 ml cans
After hitting the market in 2004, these sparkling wine cans qualify as a classic in the portable wine world. Named after winemaker Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter Sofia, these feminine pink cans are filled with a fruity Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine and come with a bendy straw. They are sold individually as well as in packs of four with a decorative pink box.
Price: $11.99 for four
Packaging: Individually packaged cups
Stack Wine is the equivalent of a bottle of wine divided into four recyclable sealed plastic cups that you can “snap” off, which is great for outdoor drinking or when you only want to have one glass of wine without opening a bottle. Stack Wine is available in Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and a red blend. There is also a line from television personality Giuliana Rancic, which retails for $9.99 and includes a Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Moscato, and rose.
Price: $20 for four
Packaging: BPA-free plastic flutes
You might have to leave the bottle of Prosecco inside, but these flutes are a collaboration between the Italian brand Ruffino and Govino, a line of shatterproof glasses, perfect for a poolside celebration. The colors are inspired by the notes of honeysuckle and citrus in the sparkling wine. Afterwards you can reuse them, or toss them in the recycling.
Price: $12.99 for 1.5 liters
This sustainably produced wine from California now comes in 1.5-liter boxes, which are easier to bring to the beach than more standard 3-liter boxes. The equivalent of two bottles of wine, it’s bag-in-a-box system keeps wine fresh up to four weeks after opening. The packaging is made from unbleached, post-consumer fiber and is completely recyclable. Varietals include Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
How do you like to drink your wine on the go? Let us know in the comments below!