Canned Champagne: For All Your Picnic Needs

Alright, so Sofia Mini isn't technically champagne. It's a sparkling Blanc de Blancs from California made with a blend of Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat grapes. But for the purposes of this post, as well as ease of description, I like to call it champagne in a can.

Last year, I did a series during the summer called A Cooler Coke, in which I raided the beverage cases at places like Spec's and Phoenicia looking for interesting alternatives to the typical canned soft drink. Finding this little can of Sofia canned champagne at Whole Foods this week has almost inspired me to start the series up again.

The little can of Sofia Blanc de Blancs that Francis Ford Coppola's winery sells is appropriately called "Mini" at only 187 milliliters. But don't be fooled by its small size; it packs a punch with 11.5 percent ABV. Even better, the Minis also come in a four-pack for $20.

Its own ads show the Minis being consumed by straw, a nod to the fact that this is a silly, playful sparkling wine not meant to be taken too seriously. The applications in which I can imagine this tiny can of champagne are numerous: on picnics at places like Discovery Green, where glass containers often aren't allowed; at BYOB salons (yes, those exist), while you and your friends get manicures and pedicures; in darkened movie theaters, snuck in via purses or baggy sweaters; et cetera.

They'd even be great iced down in a separate cooler at your next party. A cooler of canned beer (hopefully Southern Star or something equally awesome), a cooler of champagne. You'd be the hit of the block party. It's an ideal container for the sparkling wine, even if it wasn't originally meant to be in a can.

Taste-wise, the Mini pretty much adheres to what you'd expect from its blend: dry but sweet, thanks to the Muscat grapes, with pleasantly soft undertones of melon and pear. In other words, it's an easily quaffed summer beverage that's on par with what Amber Ambrose calls "lawnmower wine." Nice stuff on a hot day for a fairly decent price -- and it's portable.

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Katharine Shilcutt