The Wine Idiot Reviews: Underwood Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Rosé in a Can ($4.99 each)
First of all...I'll grant you that wine in a can sounds about as appetizing as wine in a box. HOWEVER. Underwood Pinot Noir is a quality budget pinot noir that I thoroughly enjoyed in the bottle a few times before it luckily appeared in can form at my local TJ's. So of course I had to get one of each of the cans to test-drive them. FOR MY READERS! Because this blog is all about sacrifice.
The nitty-gritty: each can is 375 mL, or half a bottle of wine. That makes each of these varieties a $10 bottle, which raised my expectations a little. OK yes for wine connoisseurs $10 a bottle is peanuts, but for yours truly? It better be drinkable, is all I'm saying.
The upside, of course, is that these babies are far more portable than a bottle, making them perfect for many a summer outing. Heading to the beach, where no glass is allowed? No one will complain about your cans of wine. Hiking to a great spot to watch a sunset? Carrying a couple cans eases the burden of carrying a heavy glass bottle of wine in and out (you pack your trash out, RIGHT??).
I started with the Pinot Gris--a variety I'm predisposed to enjoy as it's normally a less-sweet version of pinot grigio (which you know harbors a certain sentimentality for me). When you crack the can, this smells very sweet, like pear. The taste is not unlike the smell--very sweet (though not syrupy), with notes of peaches and pears and the slightest bit of crispy citrusness undercutting all of it. It's a very tasty summer wine. When I paired it with cheese, a slight metallic or sour note came out--it probably wants to be paired with a brie instead of an iberico.
It wasn't super-cold when I drank it, and I still thoroughly enjoyed it, so if you're packing this for enjoyment later, it's still refreshing even if it's not straight out of the fridge. Also, drinking out of a can is awfully weird. It makes me drink it a lot faster than out of a glass, so be careful--half a bottle goes by QUITE quickly.
Next up was the Rosé. This one smells a little like a Jolly Rancher, but remarkably it doesn't taste as sweet as the Pinot Gris. In fact, I wrote, "oooh...I would not recommend the rosé I don't think." Hahahahah. I'm quite honest after a can of wine, apparently. It's slightly soapy-flavored, and not particularly crisp, AND features a sour aftertaste. Not a winner.
The Pinot Noir, though? Ohhhhh, the Underwood Pinot Noir. As lovely as I remembered it. It smells of berries, and it's just a smooth as hell pinot noir that warms you up as it goes down. It's medium-bodied, exactly like I like my pinot noir, and a little tart, a bit bright, and a lot tasty. This can? Worth $5 for SURE.
In summation: the Underwood Pinot Gris and the Pinot Noir are both great choices for wine-in-a-can, but I'd pass on the Underwood Rosé.
What the bottle says: "Union Wine Co. brings the spirit and character of Oregon to wines you can put on your table every day. We believe that the contents are more important the container; that good wine should be able to go anywhere. We love our wine, we just don't drink it with our pinkies in the air."
What the Wine Idiot says: How egalitarian of you, Union Wine Co.
ABV: Pinot Noir and Gris 13%; Rosé 12%
Who's responsible for this? "Cellared and packed by Union Wine Company, Modesto, CA" But also it proclaims proudly on this can that it is "MADE IN OREGON."
Do I need a corkscrew? Nope.
What do smarter people say about it? The Reverse Wine Snob felt largely the same way I did about the Pinot Noir and the Pinot Gris: "The 2013 Underwood Pinot Noir begins with pleasant aromas (although a bit muted out of the can) of plum, red and black cherry, cola and a hint of cranberry. Tasting reveals a pretty classic and smooth Oregon Pinot full of cola, black cherry and plum with a hint of spice. Very easy to drink, the can (which is the equivalent of a half of bottle of wine) almost dares you to take another sip and is gone before you know it. It ends long with more black cherry and cola flavors...The 2013 Underwood Pinot Gris opens with an attractive aroma of tangerine, pear and some light floral notes. Tasting reveals more pear plus peach, lemon and grapefruit along with the perfect touch of pleasing effervescence. The medium length finish features lingering grapefruit notes that entice you to take another sip. While the wine may not offer a ton of complexity, the whole experience is just downright refreshing!" I couldn't find any reviews of the Rosé. Maybe that's for the best.
Should I bring it to a friend's house? If by your "friend's house" you mean your friend's "bonfire on the beach," or "campsite," ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY. The Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, that is.