If you haven’t caught on yet, there’s a canned cocktail and wine craze that’s taking over summer picnics, filling up coolers and finding its way into bars. It’s a trend that isn’t poised to go away anytime soon, and one we don’t want to either. It’s simply changing the drinking landscape, and opening up the field to a new wave of creators who are challenging the idea of how we should drink. Not everything needs to be straight-up, so strong it burns your throat or perceived with the notion that adding fruit juice as a mixer is wimpy.
Ramona is one brand of wine coolers that is “on a mission to free wine drinkers from rules, dinner tables and bottle openers.” Jordan Salcito, a renowned sommelier and fine wine maker herself, is the creative mind behind Ramona, and this is no casual foray. She knows her wine — she’s currently the Director of Wine Special Projects for Momofuku, and previously worked at Eleven Madison Park. But the wine coolers of the eighties served as inspiration for a tasty spritzer served in a can that’s both portable and potable. It’s a breakaway from high-end dining and traditional wine making that adds another facet to Salcito’s knowledge of wine, truly making her an expert.
Ramona is a drink for the cool kid in all of us — the name is inspired by her sister’s childhood nickname taken from the popular Beverly Cleary series. The character Ramona is a rebel herself, forging her own path in the world and having fun doing it. The same philosophy can be applied to the wine cooler — on the lemon and grapefruit wine coolers is the face of a woman with short-hair, big sunglasses and a wedge of fruit in her mouth. It’s very clear that this drink is effortlessly cool, no-frills but high-quality. In fact, even celebrities like Kanye West and Rihanna have been seen with a can of a Ramona wine spritz.
Salcito has very oftenwritten her own rules when it comes to the wine industry. She wanted an organic wine that wasn’t super pricey, so she started Bellus. She wanted something casual but was still held by high standards, so along came Ramona. And Salcito’s influence is only growing within the industry, without any signs of slowing down.
More recently the brand has added a dry sparkling rosé to its roster of offerings, adding another variety of canned rosé out there for enthusiasts. And though there’s a few brands on the market already, this didn’t deter Salcito and her team. In an interview with Food & Wine, Salcito said that “we knew we only wanted to approach the canned rosé space if there was a void we could fill.” This meant creating a canned rosé that is organic and sparkling, and tastes like something Salcito and her team “would like to drink.”
Don’t count on the canned wine, seltzers and cocktails craze to tone down during the fall, either. As the summer season ends we might be apt to stay indoors, but the cool weather is not going to stop the release of a blood orange wine spritz from Ramona. The sanguine, warm hues of blood orange is the perfect color for fall, anyway. We’re ready for it, and whatever else Ramona has in store.
For your next gathering, read our guide on food pairings with natural wine here