Summer Issue 2016
OUTDOORS, UNDER A BLUE SKY and a searing sun, wine should be fun and uncomplicated. It also helps if the packaging is convenient, smash-proof, and doesn't require the corkscrew that someone inevitably left behind. Fortunately, formats such as miniatures, boxes, cans, and Tetra Paks are a growing segment of the market, and the quality of the wine is generally on the rise. Best served extra cold; even the reds will benefit from chilling.
Union Wine Underwood Pinot Gris
375-milliliter can, $6.98 at Zupan's
Apparently dudes are buying more canned wine, as it's deemed "beer like" (presumably until they taste it, that is?). This Oregon Pinot Gris is all tangy tropical fruit, followed up with a tart finish. Before downing it, bear in mind this is half a bottle.
Best for: outdoor concert/sports event.
Casal Garcia Vinho Verde
187-milliliter bottle, $4 at 1856, 1465 NE Prescott
These miniatures (each holds about a quarter of a bottle) are the perfect size for packing in a pocket or bag. Bright and lively, with citrus and stone fruit flavors, there's a hint of refreshing effervescence.
Best for: floating.
West Side Wine Co. Chardonnay
250-milliliter can, $4.99 at Whole Foods
One that tastes better straight from the can—crisp, tropical notes and green apple shine through. There's an oaky finish to provide backbone, and it has a crowd-pleasing spritz.
Best for: poolside.
CalNaturale Chardonnay 2014
500-milliliter Tetra Pak, $5.49 at New Seasons
Made with sustainable, single-sourced vineyard grapes, this is an easy-going Chardonnay for a summer's day: lightly oaked, with pear and apple flavors and a touch of vanilla. Each container holds about three glasses' worth.
Best for: picnics.
Portland Sangria Rosé Wine12-ounce can, $5 at Enso Winery, 1416 SE Stark
A blend of rosé wine and berry juice, this goes down like spiked juice. Invigorating in the sun, the relatively low 6.7 percent ABV should leave you in a good spot.
Best for: boating.
Bandit Cabernet Sauvignon
500-milliliter Tetra Pak, $3.99 at Whole Foods
Made from California grapes to create a juice bonanza—the dark berries, light acid, and touch of oak make it superbly quaffable. A great match for grilled meats.
Best for: barbeques.
Big House Pinot Evil Pinot Noir
3-liter box, $15.29 (usually $22.79) at Fred Meyer
California Pinot Noir that supplies tons of bright cherry flavor. Uncomplicated and accessible, each box holds four bottles' worth. On a hot day, serve with a slight chill and even mix with sparkling mineral water for an extra zest.
Best for: camping.