Tasting Notes: Underwood Rosé Bubbles

Last summer, I tried Underwood's The Bubbles canned wine and loved it. So when I saw that Whole Foods was now carrying the rosé version, I was pumped! Sparkling rosé is my favorite thing to drink at the moment, so this was right up my alley, and with the first version being surprisingly tasty, I had high hopes for this can. 

Underwood Rose Bubbles.jpg

The Facts

  • Producer: Union Wine Co.
  • Region: Oregon
  • Vintage: Non-vintage
  • Variety: Unknown
  • Where I purchased: Whole Foods
  • Price: $6.99/can

The company's notes read: Wild strawberry, fruit cocktail, and tart cherry. Carbonated wine. This says a lot and definitely set up my expectations for the wine. I expected it to have a sweetness to it, and I expected the bubbles to very fine. "Carbonated wine" means the carbonation was added similar to a soda, as opposed to most other sparkling wines being made through the traditional method or tank method where the bubbles integrate with the wine and become the wine. Both of those expectations were correct. I definitely got a sweet strawberry flavor and even a hint of bubblegum. The residual sugar was more apparent in the rosé version than the classic and it felt flabby, like there wasn't enough acid to balance the sweetness. After our Whole15, I have developed the habit of asking, "Is this worth it?" in relation to calories, sugar, alcohol, etc. In this case, I decided no. I did not find it pleasant to drink, and I could see the sugar giving me a headache later in the evening, so the can went unfinished. Overall, the wine fell very short of my high hopes. I'm not sure I'm totally on the canned wine train, but if I had to choose one, I'd go with the more classic "The Bubbles" version I reviewed previously.

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Tasting Notes: Underwood "The Bubbles"

Canned wine was very trendy last summer, and it certainly hasn't died down yet. In fact, Underwood has released even more options this year! Their rosé and Pinot Noir have been around for a while, but I came across "The Bubbles" at Whole Foods the other week and obviously could not resist. I'm a sucker for anything bubbly!  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I gave Trader Joe's canned Simpler Wines a try a few weeks back, and let's just say it was $4 down the drain. Then again, four cans for $4... did I really expect it to be good? After that debacle, I was curious to see how Underwood's would turn out.

The Facts

  • Producer: Union Wine Co.
  • Region: Oregon
  • Vintage: Non-vintage
  • Variety: Doesn't say on the can or website, but I saw Chardonnay when I scoured the internet.
  • Where I purchased: Whole Foods
  • Price: $6.99/can

Eyes: Well, it's hard to tell because it's in a can, but the can looks nice and classy! Just kidding... I mean not about the can looking nice, but I did end up pouring some into a glass just out of curiosity. It's a very pale color and the bubbles are very fine. 

Nose: Silly me forgot to smell the wine when I poured that small bit into the glass. I think that brings about a good point, though, that the biggest downfall to wine in a can is you lose the aromas which play such a large part in how a wine tastes. Convenience is great, and I like what Union Wine Co is trying to accomplish with their #pinkiesdown motto, but you can't argue that smell and aromas don't matter with wine.

Mouth: I was a little apprehensive, but I have to say that it exceeded my expectations. It has a slight sweetness to it, which is not surprising given it's only 11% ABV (lower alcohol percentages means more residual sugar in the wine, average is probably 12.5-13.5%), but it was definitely not overwhelming in sweetness. Perhaps the residual sugar was a way to combat the lack of aromas from the can? Anyway, there was a good acidity to it which helped counteract the sweetness, and the apple and citrus flavors were front and center. The bubbles are very subtle, not like normal sparkling wine. It's almost like mineral water. When cold, it's very refreshing.

Thoughts: Is this the best wine I've ever had before? No, but I didn't (and you shouldn't) expect it to be. Is it the best wine I've ever had in a convenient container and affordable price? Yes, hands down. This stuff can be dangerous... wine in a can seems to go down much faster than in a glass! And be careful because a single can is half a bottle of wine! If you think about it that way, this would equate to a $14 bottle of wine which is a pretty great price point. Plus, with the added convenience of being in a can, that can be priceless. Are you going to a BBQ and don't want beer? Will you be heading out to the beach or on a boat or to a picnic and don't want to carry a bottle, corkscrew, and glasses? Definitely pick yourself up a can and be sure to keep it cold. I'm looking forward to trying their rosé that's in my fridge, and I'm keeping my eyes peeled for the sparkling rosé. If you've seen it in Charlotte, let me know where!

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On Trend: Wine in a Can

If you've been to a Whole Foods wine section recently, you may have noticed a (fairly) large selection of wine in a can. I guess I just never noticed it, but I've heard grumblings in the wine space about this. In fact, here's an article written earlier in July from Time Magazine about canned wine. Canned wine does seem like the perfect solution for those days you only want one small drink or if you're on your way to the beach or a picnic. Although, there are obviously "pinkies up" critics out there that want the glass experience. But when I saw the selection at Whole Foods, I thought, "How fun!" and decided to pick up a pack to try.

Presto Sparkling Cuvee was my canned wine of choice. This is Italian sparkling wine, or Prosecco. It was on sale that week at Whole Foods for $9.99 for the 4 pack, but normally sells for $12.99. The cans are small, think like the new mini cans of Coke out there, but it's equivalent to a glass.

Presto Sparkling Cuvee

Overall thoughts?

I was actually pleasantly surprised! It's definitely VERY fruity, but still not overly sweet or syrupy in my opinion. I wouldn't say it was as crisp and refreshing as some of the other sparkling wines I've had this summer (it seemed to have less bubbles than other options), but for situations where I want the convenience of it being in a can, I can look past that. I just recommend serving it cold.

Would I buy it again?

Sure. It wouldn't be my first choice if I'm wanting a sparkling wine at home. I prefer my mini bottles of Rondel Cava or even La Marca Prosecco. But if I'm going to a party, on a picnic, or to an outdoor event where I want some bubbles without having to carry everything needed to enjoy wine (glass, corkscrew, etc.), then this is a good choice. Plus, the price is right!

Will I try other wines in a can?

Absolutely. Underwood Pinot Noir and a few rosés are on my radar for my next trip to Whole Foods. Here's an article I found with the "best" canned wine from Refinery29 to give you an idea of what else is out there. I think this trend is interesting and could very well be successful. More and more people, especially millennials, are becoming interested in wine, but don't necessarily want the attitude or snobbery that can come with it. Canned wine is perfect for their on-the-go, low-key lifestyle. Bottles will obviously never go away, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more wineries venture into this space!

What are your thoughts on canned wine? Would you ever give it a try?