Wine in a Can – Sommelier’s Corner

By Zak Kilson |

It’s July, and summer is in full swing. This means it’s beach season, time for fireworks, and backyard barbeques. I can’t think of a better way to show your patriotism on Independence Day than to fire up the grill, cook some burgers and dogs, and sip on some good old-fashioned American wine – in a can. Yes, I said wine in a can. Now, I’m sure some (all?) of you are a bit skeptical of what I’m talking about, but bear with me.

wine in a can

There’s a wine producer in Oregon called Union Wine Company. They have a line of wines that they package in double insulated 375ml cans called Underwood (also available in 750ml bottles). To me, wine in a can is a reminder that wine is fun, and doesn’t have to be fussy, and pretentious. Remember boxed wine? This is the future of that, and unlike the vast majority of wine in a box, these actually taste good.

Here in the Cape Fear region, we are lucky enough to be able to get the Underwood Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Rosé. They also make a sparkling wine in a can that we will see sometime next year, and I can’t wait! These are all wonderful pairing companions to anything you throw on the grill this summer. So light the grill, and pop the top on your new favorite summertime wines.

Let’s start with the Pinot Gris. Sourced fruit from all over Oregon, this wine is the perfect everyday refresher. Simple and clean, it’s packed full of lemon, apple, and pear flavors, and is the ideal pairing with grilled vegetables and flaky white fish.

Underwood Pinot Noir is perfect for any occasion. If you crave a red wine with your burgers, this is the one. This is a working-class Pinot Noir that can easily be drunk on it’s own or with a variety of grilled fare. With notes of cherry, blackberry and cola, the Underwood Pinot Noir is true to the style of Oregon Pinot Noir that we’ve come to know and love.

The rosé is probably my favorite of the bunch, but you probably already guessed that. It’s so approachable and refreshing. It’s summer in a can! I enjoy mine pretty much everywhere I go. When I’m lounging by the pool, or at the beach, this is what I’m reaching for. The Underwood rosé is full of strawberry, watermelon and peach flavors, and pairs beautifully with everything from hot dogs to bbq chicken.

My assignment for you this July is to be adventurous. Find a can of Underwood that suits you best, and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed, and in fact will likely be pleasantly surprised. Each can is the equivalent of 2 glasses of wine, so err on the side of caution as you consume.  These wines are $7/can – A small investment for seemingly endless enjoyment. Shoot me an email at if you are interested in ordering any of the Underwood wines. Cheers!


Zak Kilson is the Wine Club Director at Chien de Vin, a wine club for animal lovers where 5% of the proceeds are donated to local animal rescue efforts. With over a decade of wine industry experience, Zak is wine-obsessed and in the midst of a lifelong quest to drink great wine, meet awesome people, and share the love of the grape.




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