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!

Rating:

 

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?

On Trend: Bubbly + Popsicles

Trends for the summer seem to be pointing to one word: refreshing. Rosé has blown up, wine slushies are now a thing, and the newest trend, popsicles in sparkling wine, has hit the scene. There is a new bar in Charlotte called City Lights Rooftop that has been promoting this combination and it has been incredibly popular. Kevin and I went with friends to try out their "Sparkle & Pop" cocktail and to see the supposedly awesome view. First thing we noticed? Well over half of the people at the bar had a Sparkle & Pop in hand, so it was definitely a hit! The best part of the rooftop bar's drink was they use a local favorite, King of Pops, for their popsicles. King of Pops is known for their fresh, all-natural ingredients, and they are crazy delicious. 

First up? Cava with Fresh Peach. Cava, for those that don't know, is Spanish sparkling wine. The Cava was fine, but the peach pop definitely stole the show. YUM.

My second drink was Prosecco and Blackberry Ginger. The ginger was a little overpowering, but I learned that Prosecco is definitely the best sparkling to use. The bar poured La Marca which is widely available and has a more neutral flavor. This worked great with the popsicle! 

So what's the ultimate takeaway? The combination of bubbly and fruit popsicles is awesome AND it can easily be done at home (for a lot cheaper!). It only requires two things: 

1. Your bubbles of choice. I recommend a light flavored Prosecco like La Marca or even my favorite inexpensive Cava from Total Wine, Rondel. I talked about it here.

2. A popsicle! I recommend a higher quality, natural brand like Fruttare or Chloe's. You could also make your own if you're feeling ambitious. Here's a recipe from Half Baked Harvest that I've been dying to try... only three ingredients and they look amazing!

It was so fun to see the beautiful view and spend good time with friends, but I'll likely be making these drinks at home from now on. These cocktails would be perfect for a beach trip, a day by the pool, or a fun after-BBQ treat on the 4th of July! Cheers to summer!