Hopped Wine in a Can Makes For A Great Summertime Quencher

In a world where everyone is chasing the next alcopop trend from hard sodas to hard seltzer water, the canned wine pioneers at Oregon-based Union Wine Co. have done it again with Underwood Riesling Radler. I discovered this product last summer, and it’s made it’s seasonal return to stores now so I didnt want to miss introducing you to this hopped wine in a can that’s a terrific quenching collaboration with Silverton, Oregon’s Goschie Farms.

Union Wine Company was one of the first to introduce wine in a can under their Underwood brand and the company has continued to innovate with new products since. Union Wine founder/owner Ryan Harms says he wanted to bridge the gap between approachable wine and craft beer and Riesling Radler in 12oz cans and 4-packs was the result.

“It started with a question from me. Can we make something along the lines of a Radler but using wine” Harms told me. “24 hours later a trial blend was sitting in front of me.”

While Underwood Riesling Radler may be a wine product, they do their best to make it an approachable summer beverage to bring in beer and soda fans as well. Goschie Farms is known for their Organic and now Salmon-Safe hops but they also produce barley and wine grapes. Goschie already grows about 35 acres of Pinot Gris grapes for Underwood wine.

“Once we started playing with the formulation of the Riesling Radler we reached out to the Goschie’s” says Harms. They enlisted Goschie to supply the hops and also better inform them on what flavors and characteristics they wanted to get from them. “This project became a great way for us to broaden and strengthen our relationship with one of our growers. Plus they are great people, so its been a blast working more deeply together.”

Originally, Harms planned to also use Malt in the Riesling Radler, but “as we prepared to go into production we learned that there are some regulations that prevent malt from being used in wine products.” As a result, the company ended up using apple juice and agave to emulate some of the sweetness that would come from malt.

Crystal and Cascade hops from Goschie Farms combine surprisingly well with the Riesling wine and Grapefruit juice for a carbonated beverage with bright and slightly bitter citrus. Tart juice of grapes and citrus and not too sweet of a finish complete the flavor profile. “We wanted to pull some of the flavors from beer into this product but still keeping wine based” says Harms.

Riesling Radler is a summer seasonal release from Union Wine that you can find at New Seasons Market, Whole Foods, Market of Choice and select smaller retailers. Or, you can order it direct at https://unionwinecompany.com/

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com