Back when I was of just-barely-legal drinking age, when the number-one quality I looked for in an alcoholic beverage was its cheapness and coldness, my go-to wine was André. In Alabama, where I grew up, a law had been on the books for years banning the sale of beer over a certain ABV. The law has since been eliminated, leading to a boom of excellent craft beer in the state, but in the days before it, the cheap alcohol choices were mass market beers, malt beverages, and a beloved sparkling wine called André.
If you are unfamiliar, let me acquaint you: André is a brand of sparkling wine from California that comes with a twist-off cork and is generally available for under $7 a bottle. "Sparkling" wine is maybe not the correct term; it's more like "carbonated" wine. It comes in an array of flavors, from Peach Moscato to Blush, and, if I'm not mistaken, a now-discontinued vibrant orange Passion Fruit flavor.
It is sweet and bubbly and inoffensive to the palate of a young, broke 20-something. At my 22nd birthday, a toga party thrown in a friend's dorm room, a whole case of André was the main refreshment, which at the time made me feel like P. Diddy hosting a white party in the Hamptons. Photographic evidence examined in the years since suggests otherwise, but still. And sure, as a beverage, it might never pass muster with a sommelier, but it made me feel like I was living the good life.
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You've heard of Miller High Life, the champagne of beers? André is the beer of champagnes. It's accessible, it's fun, and it's unpretentious. Even though my tastes have shifted in the years since my peak consumption of under-$7 bottles of wine, André still has a sweet, fizzy place in my heart.
Thanks to the hyper-specific targeting of internet advertisements, who must be aware through some algorithmic processes of my cheap champagne-soaked birthdays past, I was recently been made aware that André now comes in cans, starting this month. You can get either the Brut or the Brut Rosé in a can, both on the less-sweet end of the André saccharine scale. This is incredible news. It is just right. This is the format that, more than any other canned wine on the market, makes perfect sense. André is absolutely made to be enjoyed in formats where an expensive glass of champagne might otherwise be discouraged—in a pool float, in a park, or snuck into a movie theater. Odds are high that a can of André won't set you back more than $5. It's a good way to ease out of the late summer.
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