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Made for the beach
Wines and accessories that are good on the go

07/10/14
By Stefanie Phillips food@hippopress.com



 Summer is in full swing, and that means long, lazy days at the beach or on the lake. If you’re looking for beach-friendly wines that pack well, here are some suggestions, along with some notes on accessories.

Since everyone knows what a wine fan I am, I typically get a lot of wine gifts, which I definitely appreciate. One of my favorites is an insulated tote bag that helps keep food and drinks colder longer and has room to hold cups, a wine opener, plates, etc. If I am packing wine to go, in addition to packing this bag, I also use a smaller wine bag cooler. This bag looks a lot like a gift bag but is made with little pockets of liquid that freeze. It holds one wine bottle and is reusable.
Once I get to where I am going, my Corkcicle wine chiller is great for keeping white wines cool. It looks like an icicle and is put down into a wine bottle after it is opened. I put it in the freezer a day or so before my trip so it is nice and chilled. There are other accessories out there like this one, and some let you pour the wine right through them, making them even more convenient. They can be used not only for trips, but at a social gathering when you have a bottle out on a table and want to keep it cool.
My latest wine gift was a plastic wine cup with a screw-on lid and built-in straw. This is the most beach-friendly wine cup I have seen yet and I will definitely be putting it to use when my family stays in Maine later this summer. It is pretty spill-, sand- and shatter-proof — exactly what you want at the beach.
I researched the most beach-friendly wines based on what I could find in my local supermarket. Here are some recommendations.
My first wine choice in truly beach-friendly packaging is Bota Box wines. I tried the 2010 Chardonnay, but they offer other varietals as well. Bota Box is an eco-friendly company that uses 100 percent recyclable, unbleached post-consumer materials for its wine packaging. The full boxes of wine also stay fresh for weeks. 
In thinking about serving size for the beach, I grabbed a smaller 500ml container that looks like an adult juice box. Just add a straw and you’re good to go! 
According to Bota Box, this smaller package reduces greenhouse gases, cuts fuel emissions due to a lighter shipping weight and is produced mainly from a renewable resource, paper. So while you’re sitting seaside enjoying it, you’re also choosing wine from a very environmentally conscious company. 

While chardonnay isn’t my favorite, this is light-bodied and crisp, with tropical fruit aromas and flavors of green apple, pineapple and vanilla. I would drink this wine if the other choices were limited, but I think most chardonnay fans would really like this wine and its convenient packaging. 
Bota Box calls it “perfect for picnics” and suggests enjoying it with friend chicken, shrimp skewers or scallops. Make sure it is thoroughly chilled. 

Also coming in at the top of the convenience list is Bandit Sangria, which had a “most beach worthy” label when I pulled it off the supermarket shelf. This sangria is in similar packaging as the Bota Box, but in a one-liter size that is perfect for sharing, as it equals one and a third bottles of wine. 
Bandit Sangria is made from red California grapes and then blended with “top secret fruit juices” to create a “party in a box.” 
It has aromas of red berries and cherries, with flavors of juicy ripe berries, cranberries and pomegranate. Some carbonated water would add some fizz and pizzazz as well. Bandit suggests enhancing the sangria by adding fruit, an umbrella or carbonated water. They also offer moscato, pinot grigio, chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon in the same convenient packaging. 

Beyond these two, many wine companies like Barefoot, Sutter Home and Gallo offer their wines in smaller, 187ml four-packs. They are easier to pack than a full bottle of wine, stay cooler longer and have twist-off caps so no opener is needed. The only drawback is they are made of glass, so you need to use extra caution when packing them.  
 
As seen in the July 10, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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