So, the summer of 2020 hasn’t exactly looked the way we thought it would. It has been a year of finding new ways to enjoy time with friends and family and significant others within the comfort of your home. Many people have decided to fix up outdoor seating and dining areas or have rearranged indoor areas allowing for a feeling of additional comfort and enjoyment. We are finding new scenery outside our windows and in our own backyards and what makes that feeling complete is the wine that you are enjoying while sitting in that perfect space. Here are some ideas to experience new wines throughout your staycation.

Embrace the weekend brunch. The late morning, mid-day brunch calls for a nice glass of chilled Prosecco or sparkling wine, perhaps a Mimosa, a choice of “sweeter”, crisp, tropical flavors found in Riesling, Chenin Blanch, and Sauvignon Blanc, or a nice crisp, light and fruity Rosé. The drinks are meant to be refreshing, to be easily be paired with most light fares served with most brunch menus. The drinks are meant to compliment with light flavors to not over-power the food, but instead to support the happy mood, the sunshine and the warmth of summer.

 Enjoy the Summer Happy Hour. After a long week, there is nothing better than the Friday happy hour, even in your own home.  Find that happy place, the window, the porch, or backyard patio and invite over a couple of friends or neighbors and enjoy the late afternoon/evening sunset. Happy hour is a great time to mix up the wines a bit. It is still early enough or perhaps hot enough outside that the chilled crisp Pinot Grigio, the creamy Chardonnay, the medium body Rosé, the slightly chilled Pinot Noir or the lighter red blend can all be a part of the happy hour menu. These wines will all pair nicely with charcuterie plates, and other pre-dinner appetizers.

 Have a small dinner party. As dinner parties have become much more intimate, it is a great opportunity to pair an assortment of fine red wines with dinner themes or various wines with separate dinner courses. For example, when guests arrive and appetizers are being served, it is a good time to offer a lighter wine which could range from nice white wines like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sancerre to red wines such as Pinot Noir, Syrah or Shiraz or a lighter red blend. When it comes to the main courses, you want to find wines that pair well with the food that you are serving and don’t be afraid to go a little more bold. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, French Bordeaux, Spanish Tempranillo, or Italian Sangiovese/Chianti. Following dinner, if you want to get a little more adventurous, you could serve a dessert wine such as a Port or Sherry (be sure to pour as a sipping wine) around the outdoor or indoor fireplace paired with good friends and an entertaining conversation.

 There are so many ways to create an experience and build fun memories during these abnormal times. It is important to design your own staycation and expand your horizons within your own home by trying new things. So, I challenge you to try a new exciting wine to go with your next dinner and invite a couple of friends over to enjoy the sunset on a Friday night. If you need some recommendations, please reach out on social media and I will be sure to provide you with the feedback and answers that you need. At Wine Culture, we look forward to selling you the wines for each of these unique experiences that you will continue to cultivate in your life.