Summer is a time for relaxation, fun-filled get-togethers, and plenty of wine. Few things get our taste buds salivating quite like the thought of kicking back with an al fresco drink or two but preparing for wine drinking in the great outdoors takes a little forethought. With a few simple purchases, you can equip yourself with all the necessary summer wine tools for tons of vino-tastic times all season long.
1. Portable Wine Sack – $39.95
We’re not saying that you could smuggle this flexible silicone sack into a variety of concert venues and amusement parks but we’re not saying you couldn’t, either. The highly portable bag holds a full three liters of wine – that’s an entire box, by the way, or four bottles depending on your POV – so there’s plenty for you and the guys or an entire parking lot of soccer moms. The details are up to you.
2. Oenophilia Picnic Wine Table – $21.99
The weather’s beautiful, the company is great, but it’s awful hard to slice your brie and swirl your sparkling rosé while balancing on dewy grass. Now you can avoid looking like a total noob and impress your date with this handy dandy wine picnic table. Nerdy? Yup. Slightly industrial looking? You betcha. But it also has two mounting heights – swoon! – and holds both a communal plate and two stemmed wine glasses so really, how flexible do you want to be?
3. Jokel Silicone/Rubber Wine Glasses – $18.98
Your bond with wine is unbreakable and now your glassware can be too! Imagine this scenario: you’re sitting poolside, enjoying the warm summer air and a glass of Pinot Gris, when SPLASH! One of the kids launches a pool noodle towards your head. Smash goes your goblet and now there are shards of glass in the pool, on our chair, in the grass… it’s a summertime disaster and much like Pandora’s box, cleanup is going to be a real youknowwhat. Pick up some of these rubber wine glasses by Jokel and you won’t have to worry about chipping, melting, cracking, or breaking your favorite drinking vessels every again. Best of all? They’re dishwasher safe so your post-BBQ chores are practically already done.
4. Wine Pearls – $24.95
These pretty and practical little orbs give “clutching your pearls” and phenomenal new meaning. When soaring summer temps make you long for a chilled glass of Riesling but the bottle you grabbed from the store shelf is far from ready, you can pop these babies into your glass and have a cold drink in mere minutes. Just keep the pearls in your freezer and they’ll always be ready to go. The benefits are two-fold: the stainless steel material won’t affect the taste of your drink and because the pearls don’t melt they won’t dilute your wine, either.
5. Wine Bottle Candle Wicks – $9.95
Hanging out on the back patio and sharing a bottle of wine with your sweetheart is a beautiful thing, especially if you can turn down the million-watt porch lights and enjoy your chat surrounded by a little more ambience. These candle wicks turn your leftover wine bottles into stunning centerpieces. All you have to do is fill the bottle with lamp oil (not included but easy to find) and slip in the wick. Add flame and you have a good chance for romance.
6. Champagne and Rosé Club – $39.99/month
Bubbles and rosé are the unofficial drinks of summer – at least in our book. Luckily, we found a company that not only agrees but that is ready and willing to help us with our addiction. The Vinley Market Bubbles & Rosé Wine Club delivers curated bundles straight to your door. Each month you’ll get two bottles of wine, one rosé and one sparkling. The sommelier picks are brought in from around the world and you’ll get an information card that includes the history of the winery and winemaker and some extra interesting tidbits, too. Their unofficial motto? “Don’t be basic.” We like.
7. Drinking Buddies Drink Markers – $14.95/set of 6
This hilarious set of drink markers definitely gets points for humor. For just under $15, you get six cabana boys with their names emblazoned across their tiny little speedos. Hand them out to party guests as an ice breaker and they’ll be able to tell whose drink is whose no matter how crazy your homegrown happy hour gets. Banana hammocks not your thing? Head over to Swoozies anyway and check out other options like the Fireman’s Pole Drink Stirrers or some bodacious bikini-clad babes.
8. Double-Hinged Corkscrew – $2.93
A simple double-hinged corkscrew is your best friend. You can use the knife to cut your wine foil (or open a package of marshmallows for smores), the bottle opener to pop the top on a cold brewsky, and the corkscrew itself to – well, you get the idea. Buy a handful and keep one in your purse, one in your car (not for road drinking, please, but so you always have one nearby wherever you travel), in your suitcase (checked baggage only of course), your camping kit, your hiking pack, etc. This way you’ll be prepared wherever your travels happen to take you this summer and if you lose it, you’re only out a measly $3.