2019 Wildass Rosé, Niagara Peninsula VQA, Ontario, Canada (Alcohol 11.8%, Residual Sugar 13g/L) Stratus Webstore $27.60 (4 x 200ml cans)

What screams “Ontario Summer!” more than an afternoon-long picnic in the sun with good friends and some Wildass Rosé?… but now it’s available in cute wee cans, something that makes imbibing en plein air just that little bit more convenient.

Whilst I wouldn’t advise one drinks these from the can, although I guess one could in a pinch; I certainly prefer my wine from a stem, thank you very much, even at a picnic. Call me old fashioned…

Those folks at Stratus are always up to fun and inventive stuff, and so I was delighted to see them embrace this funkier handy format for both their 2019 Wildass Rosé and 2019 Charles Baker Riesling.

As you crack open a well-chilled one of these you’ll notice that it’s under considerable pressure, and also you’ll see evidence of that when you pour it into a glass, with the dissolved gas quickly precipitating onto the sides. Now don’t misunderstand me here, this is no sparkling wine, but this modern canning technique simply serves to keep the wine as fresh as is technically possible, and it certainly works a treat on the Wildass Rosé.

This vintage is another maelstrom of varietals (read: Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon, and Riesling), but true to form, Winemaker J.L. Groux, AKA “Msr. Assemblage”, teases the very best out of all participants, and serves up a ever-so-slighty-off-dry treat. It certainly has  enough juicy acidity to keep it well within the savoury rosé boundaries, but with enough ripe and vibrant strawberry/rhubarb/raspberry fruit to satiate your summer rosé cravings. In keeping with Groux’s usual style, there’s a lot more going on in here that appears at first sniff, but at heart this is a dedicated easy-drinking summer sipper that hits just the right spot for picnic libations.

Grab some and get outside while we still have some summer left!

3.5 apples out of 5
(Three and a half apples out of a possible five)

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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he loves these for picnics, although technically that’s illegal unless it’s on private property. Jeez.