#WineWednesday: Cheers To Picnic, Pool and Patio Portables

by Robin Barr Sussman on June 9, 2021 in Food, Drink,
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Summer is here and we’re thinking about the lake, the beach, toting a picnic or planning a pool party. And good wine must be a part of the fun!

Enter the newest slew of perky portables: Cans and boxes are durable, light, inexpensive and environmentally friendly (but yep, we still love screw top bottles). And did you know that cans also protect against light and oxygen, keeping the wine fresh? Pop the top—no corkscrew required.

THINKING INSIDE THE BOX

Photo courtesy BOXT

Austin-based BOXT is a new wine brand crafted from grapes sourced around the globe. Packaged in a cool recyclable wooden box with a seamless “tap,” the six numbered profiles include three red and three white varietals. Founder Sarah Puil says that numbering instead of labeling each wine nixes preconceived notions of what type of wine customers think they like based on fancy wine labels. Each box–available through subscription starting at $74/month–stays fresh 30 days!

Photo courtesy Radio Boka

Radio Boka tempranillo, a medium bodied, racy red with fresh cherry and spice flavors from Valencia, Spain, has joined the box scene. Into good tunes? Committed to supporting emerging artists, the wine is packaged in a tricked-out box artfully designed like a vintage radio to carry along to parties and picnics. A great hostess gift!

YES, YOU CAN!

Bonterra’s slim canned wines, paired deliciously with dessert. Courtesy photo

Bonterra Organic Vineyards slides 4 slim cans of sauvignon blanc blended from Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma County grapes, into one pretty package ($17.99). Aromas of grapefruit, citrus and fresh-cut grass greet you with each sip. Boxes (1.5 liter, $22.99) also available in rosé, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and red blend.

Space Age Rosé Spritz is a new naturally-flavored spritzer with Meyer lemon and strawberry crafted by winemaker Josh Phelps, owner of Grounded Wine Co. The lovely rosé-based spritzer is sold at retailers across the country including Target ($3.99 per can; $15 per 4-pack) has only 90 calories, and just 5.5% alcohol. A great alternative to beer and cocktails!

Photo courtesy Space Age

Mermosa, “the official wine of boats, brunch and beaches,” makes a fruity low-carb canned sparkling wine and an exotic gently sparkling Celestine rosé ($9.99/2-pack) blend of Oregon pinot noir and pinot gris.

WITH A TWIST

The elegant Seven Hills Winery screw-tops. Photo courtesy Crimson Wine Group

Seven Hills Winery sauvignon blanc, Columbia Valley 2019, is as invigorating as jumping in the pool on a 90-degree day ($20).

Lost Draw Cellars 2020 Counoise rosé, Texas High Plains, is a beauty worth saving for a special fourth of July celebration ($25). Expect depth of flavor and fragrance—think Herbes de Provence, ripe summer berries and strawberry jam.

Photo courtesy Lost Draw Cellars

Erath rosé from Washington State is juicy and thirst quenching but no wimpy pink (about $12). Just peachy for a Hill Country get away.

Inman Family Endless Crush rosé of pinot noir, Russian River 2019, will have you basking on a California beach with a salmon-colored sunset. Or closer to home, pouring this impressive pink at a June bridal brunch ($38).

Photo courtesy Inman Family

LIGHTWEIGHTS

Kendall-Jackson Avant chardonnay makes it easy to squeeze into that swimsuit with its new lower calorie vino—a vivid, fresh and dynamic take on chardonnay ($17). KJ is a leader in sustainability, so no question the bottle is lighter than average, and the wine weighs in at only 85 calories per serving.

Photo courtesy Kendall Jackson

Kind of Wild wines, an e-commerce brand, was launched just in time to celebrate World Environment Day, June 5th. Imagine global, meticulously-crafted vegan and organic wines in lighter bottles shipped directly to you. Juicy tempranillo-grenache blend, gruner veltliner, syrah-grenache rosé, and montepulciano are a few goodies ($22).

Photo courtesy Kind of Wild

SAVVY OUTDOOR SIPWARE

Raise a toast with these chic cocktail-wine beach cups from Absolut Elyx Boutique. They look just like sleek copper. Fooled you – they’re plastic! Check out your rosy glow reflection with each sip.

The Elyx Beach Cup. Photo courtesy Absolut Elyx Boutiqu

BUY WINES: Online at each winery; Spec’s; HEB; Total Wine & More; Houston Wine Merchant.
(Note: the latter will order wines if they don’t carry it and can locate it).


Cover photo courtesy BOXT

Robin Barr Sussman (mailto:rbs@pdq.net) is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston Modern Luxury Magazine, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.