National Wine Day is May 25! Make sure to celebrate the occasion with a choice vintage in the fresh air. Rather than heading to your favorite local winery, bring the vineyard ambiance to your own backyard with these helpful tips.

Wine Night

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On a breezy spring night or mild fall evening, there’s simply nothing better than sitting on a patio or in a lush patch of grass with a freshly corked bottle of wine. Wine is the perfect accompaniment to whatever is on the agenda, whether it be a four-course meal and a full suite of tasting wines or a chill night with your girlfriends and a couple of easy appetizers. Regardless of if the vibe is relaxed or formal, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when cozying up in your outdoor lounge furniture and popping a bottle or two.

Remember That Wine Is Sensitive to Temperature

For as long as it lasts, the taste of wine easily varies with temperature fluctuations. Indeed, there is a reason why sommeliers insist on serving wine at very specific temperatures — red between 62 and 68 degrees F and white between 49 and 55 degrees F — and it has everything to do with how the air affects the flavor of your wine. 

If you let red wine sit out and heat up, it can begin to taste overwhelmingly acidic or even vinegary. If you serve white wine too warm, it may take on a dull or bitter flavor, and nobody wants that. Regardless of color or variety, the imperfections of the wine will be much more obvious if it’s served at the wrong temperature. So how do you combat this? We’ve got the solutions below!

  • If serving white wine or bubbly, bring out a wine bucket with ice or use an insulated wine chiller to keep it cold. If it’s chilly out, you can tame the temperature of the ice with a bit of salt. If it’s hot out, be sure to keep refreshing the ice to keep the wine chilled between pours.
  • If it’s above 80 degrees F outside, you don’t want to let your red wine sit out in the open air. One of the best things you can do in this scenario is to plan ahead and put your bottle of red in the fridge for an hour or two before you plan on bringing it out into the heat.
  • Always serve wine in shady areas. This will help keep the harsh sun off the wine while also keeping everybody safe. Remember, both the sun and the alcohol can lead to dehydration, so water and shade are critical!
  • If you’re not too snobby about your drinking receptacle, consider offering your guests insulated, stemless tumblers that keep their white wine and bubbly at a chilled temperature for longer.
  • Always serve your red wine from a decanter, especially if it’s chilly out. Decanting helps separate the sediment from the wine, making it taste better, but it also slightly raises the temperature a few degrees so it will help combat the effects of air that’s too chilly.
Wine Bottles in Ice

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Be Mindful of Wine-Loving Bugs

Bugs are important to helping us grow healthy gardens and maintain lush greenspaces, but they might be present while you’re enjoying a relaxing evening with friends at home. And, as we all know, the peskiest of bugs love sweet stuff, including our favorite varieties of wine. Make sure to keep your open wine bottles and decanters covered so they don’t attract gnats, flies and ants.

You’ll also want to make sure you take a few preventative measures against bugs before your guests arrive. Light some citronella candles around your outdoor decor or bring out a few natural bug-repelling houseplants to give your ambiance a more comfortable and stylish feel. If you’re serving food along with your vino — which, of course, you should be to counteract the effects of the alcohol — then make sure to keep all dishes covered.

Choose Varietals That Honor the Season

There’s a reason why certain varieties of wine tend to get attached to certain seasons. The flavors and temperature of certain types pair perfectly with specific times of year, just as they do certain foods. So, what should you serve and when?

One of the beautiful things about living in such a global, connected society is that many of us have access to wine from virtually anywhere in the world any time of year. This means that, ultimately, you should drink whatever you want whenever you want, regardless of the season. But if you need some ideas, here are the basics.

In the spring, it’s a good time to break out the mild and fresh rosé to strike a balance between the cool and warm. Summer is high time for your textbook whites, including sauvignon blanc, riesling or champagne. In the fall, you can start to warm things up with rosé, Beaujolais and merlot. Winter, of course, is time for your full-bodied and toasty reds, including Bordeaux, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.

Keep the Glass Indoors

Make sure you leave the fussy, breakable glassware to your indoor dinner parties. Instead, invest in durable outdoor entertaining accessories that are stylish but not so precious that you’ll stress if they break or get left out overnight. Switch to lightweight, scratch-resistant melamine for your plates, glasses, pitchers and decanters.

Enjoying Drinks Outdoors

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Fresh Air Is the Perfect Accompaniment to a Nice Glass of Wine

What is it about the fresh air that makes sipping a glass of wine so much more enjoyable? While there is likely some science to the way that fresh air affects the flavor of wine — indeed, you always want your wine to “breathe” — the truth is simply that being outside puts us in a good mood. Add in some wine and a few close friends and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a dreamy outdoor wine night.

Published by HOLR Magazine.