Spring is nearly upon us, which means picnic and tailgate weather is just around the corner.

Are you planning an outdoor celebration with friends and family that includes tasty treats and wine? Here are our top three tips to keep in mind to help you enjoy your wine outdoors.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Know your menu before you head to the store for wine. Will you mainly be serving picnic-style food such as sandwiches, potato salad, fruit, or a sampling of cheese and charcuterie? Try pairing your food with a crisp sparkling white or rose’ that feels as casual and light as the occasion. For heavier foods such as steak, barbecue, and other grilled meats, serve your favorite Syrah, Zinfandel, or Barbera.

Since most outdoor gatherings tend to last for several hours under the warm sun, pace your guests with wines that have a lower alcohol level and provide plenty of other fluids such as water or juice to prevent any medical emergencies.

STAY COOL

Chilling your wine in warmer weather may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few solutions. You could go the traditional route and tote an insulated cooler with ice. If you only plan to chill just a few bottles, have a couple chilling wraps prepped to cool your wine on-the-go. Another alternative is to add a wine chilling stick directly to the wine bottle. The chilling stick is frozen beforehand and will cool wine without watering it down.

picnic with wine and cheese
Epicureanist Bamboo Portable Wine Table

HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS ON HAND

Having the right wine accessories will greatly enhance your wine drinking experience. First, figure out how you will safely transport the wine to your destination. If you are heading out the door with just a few bottles, a wine tote or wine carrier should do the trick. You will need something to uncork the bottle, so do not forget to pack a corkscrew. You can also ditch the corkscrew and opt for a wine with a screw cap closure. Some wines require aeration to open their flavors. Pack an aerator, such as the trilux wine aerator which is a compact device with three different levels of aeration, perfect if you are serving multiple styles of wine. You will need wine glasses that are easy to transport and will not break. Try a set of durable and reusable plastic wine glasses that will stand up to even the rowdiest guest. If you will be lounging on the grass or sand, a portable outdoor table will come in handy to hold glasses and food. There are also wine stakes that will hold the bottle and two glasses.

What are some of your favorite tips for enjoying wine outside? What are your favorite wines during the warmer seasons? Let us know in the comments.