9 Best Wines for Camping, the Beach, and Picnics

Need help finding your next favorite summer wine? These 9 best wines for camping, the beach, and picnics are perfect for all summer adventures.

Want to discover your wine taste profile?

Take our quick 7-question quiz to find wines that fit your taste profile and get them delivered to your door.

Free Wine Quiz Arrow

Summer is finally here! And after the spring we had, it's never been more crucial to savor the season. The best way to do that? Venture outdoors with one (or all) of the 9 best wines for camping, lazy days at the beach, and relaxing summer picnics.

Whether you’re going camping (or glamping) or just lounging in your neighborhood park, this guide has got your summer wine-related needs covered. Take a look at how to pick the perfect wines for summer and raise a glass when you reach your destination.

wines for the beach

The Best Outdoor Varietals

In the summer, your wine should be like the fabric of your romper: light. Lighter-bodied wines (under 14.5% ABV) are perfect for a hot, sunny day – no matter which kind of wine you prefer.

That’s right, red wine lovers. Even though summer is practically synonymous with white wine and rosé, light reds are totally in season.

And honestly, there’s nothing wrong with popping open a bottle of Cabernet once you get back into the air conditioning. For your outdoor enjoyment, however, you might want to stick with light- to medium-bodied reds. Here are the 9 top varietals for your next outdoor adventure:

1. Sauvignon Blanc

This popular white wine is perfect for your trip to the woods or the shore. Dry and zippy with fruity flavors and its signature “green” streak, Sauvignon blanc is great on its own or with a wide array of foods, from summer salads to your favorite seafood.

2. Vinho Verde

This light-bodied blend from Portugal is also an ideal choice for a hot day spent with your toes in the sand. With notes of lime and pink grapefruit – and coming in at only about 11% ABV – Vinho Verde pairs well with light summer dishes like fish tacos and mango salsa.

3. Albariño

Another wine from the Iberian Peninsula, Albariño is a light, zippy wine with notes of lemon zest, nectarine, and saline that’s reminiscent of the seashore. This white wine pairs well with ceviche and sushi.

4. Chablis

Chablis comes from northern Burgundy, and although it’s made with Chardonnay grapes, it is not your typical Chardonnay. Chablis is light and lean, with notes of quince and chalk. It’s a perfect pairing for oysters.

5. Grüner Veltliner

Don’t be scared off by the name. Grüner Veltliner (pronounced GROO-ner VELT-leaner) is a popular Austrian white wine with notes of starfruit and crushed gravel. It’s a great choice for picnic foods like tarragon chicken salad and sushi.

6. Cava

This sparkling wine comes from Spain and it’s a bargain compared to Champagne. Light and fizzy with notes of yellow apple and almond, Cava is a dream when it comes to food pairings. It’s a great match with fried food and even heavier dishes like paella.

7. Sparkling Rosé

While any chilled rosé is a treat on a hot day, there’s something extra refreshing about sparkling rosé. Look for a dry variety with notes of strawberry and rhubarb. Garnacha rosé from Spain or Pinot Noir-based rosé from France and Oregon are great for a summer trip.

8. Pinot Noir

We haven’t forgotten about you, red wine lovers. This light and fruity red wine tastes great served chilled and pairs well with salmon, portobello burgers, and grilled chicken.

9. Gamay

Another light red wine that’s perfect for a summer night under the stars is Beaujolais and other red wines made from Gamay grapes. Light and fruity, Gamay wines pair well with everything from grilled salmon to beef skewers.

Best wines for camping - red wine bottles rest on a picnic table in front of a tent.

Best Wine Cocktails for Camping

The key to making a wine cocktail in the woods or on the beach is keeping it simple. Leave your shaker at home, and stick to a small handful of ingredients.

The Wine Radler

This is the perfect cocktail for the wine lover who also loves beer. Simply mix your favorite light white wine with a can of your favorite radler (i.e., beer mixed with lemonade). Try it with Riesling or Vinho Verde.


Ros-ade is simply rosé and frozen lemonade – which conveniently comes in a can that you can keep in your cooler. Add a splash of lemon-lime soda to make it a spritzer.

Wine & LaCroix

This concoction is so simple, yet so delicious. To make this most basic wine spritzer, simply fill your glass halfway with wine and then add your favorite sparkling water. Match the flavor of the water with the flavor notes of the wine. For instance, peach-flavored LaCroix will go well with a Pinot Gris or Chenin Blanc.

Best wines for camping - drinking red wine in a hammock at the beach

Tips for Enjoying Vino on the Go

When packing for a camping trip or picnic, think about what you’ll need. The best wines for camping often come in can form – they’re easy to keep cold and they save you the trouble of needing a cup. Similarly, if you go with a screw top bottle, you won’t need a corkscrew.

However, if your favorite wine only comes in a bottle with a cork, don’t let that stop you from living your best life. Just make sure to pack everything you need so you’re not stuck in the woods trying to pop the cork with a Swiss Army knife (It can be done, btw). Consider adding these handy items to your packing list:

If you’re driving, fill a cooler with ice and then put your bottles in styrofoam on top of the ice. The styrofoam helps to keep the wine’s temperature consistent, and provides a little extra protection in case you hit any bumps on the road. Once your ice melts, cooling gel packs can help keep your wine chilled.

Going to the lake? Here’s a life hack for keeping your wine cool: Tie a rope around your wine bottle and submerge it in the water – just make sure to keep the cork dry to avoid contamination. When you’re done, remember to pick up any bottles, and leave the natural habitat you visited free from trash.

In Vino Finito

You can still enjoy your favorite vino even when you’re out in nature. Need help choosing the best wines for camping, or just summer in general? Drop us a line! We’re here to help.
Arrow Previous Article
June 01, 2021
It Gets Better x Bright Cel...
Next Article Arrow
June 03, 2021
Favorite Wine Countries, Ra...
Featured Articles
Follow Bright Cellars

Articles you might like...

Ready to learn more about wine? Dive right in.

This is a carousel. You can use the slide dots to navigate to a specific slide.

Tips + Tricks
December 01, 2023

7 Wine Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List

When in doubt, gift wine. Here are some helpful ideas for gifting to the wine lovers on your list this...

Pairing Tips
October 08, 2022

Wine and Pierogi Pairings For National Pierogi Day!

Happy National Pierogi Day! This Polish dumplings can be savory or sweet. Here are 7 wine and pierogi pairings to...

Tips + Tricks
July 12, 2022

10 Ways to Get Out of a Wine Rut

Looking to rediscover your love for wine? Here are 10 fun, foolproof ways to get out of that wine rut...

Wine Spotlights
July 07, 2022

Wine Spotlight: Paper Tiger Wines

We're introducing our new wine brand, Paper Tiger wines. These varieties are rare, enticing, and, above all, worth trying.

Tips + How To
June 12, 2022

Wine Wisdom: How to Learn About Wine

Introducing Wine Wisdom — a series of bite-size, sommelier-approved lessons that allow you to learn about wine on your own...

June 01, 2022

All for Wine & Wine for All: Raising a Glass to our Differences

Happy June, fellow wine drinkers! This month, we’re celebrating with a reminder: There’s enough room at the table for all...

May 26, 2022

Wine Spotlight: Dreamlet Wines

These California wines are exploding with flavor, but we’ve also added a new bottling technique with a little bit of...

May 13, 2022

New Wine Alert: Unsinkable Wines

Bright Cellars is excited to announce the launch of a captivating new brand ready to hit boxes – Unsinkable wines.

Wine 101
May 11, 2022

From the Judge's Corner: Wine Competitions Explained

Our own Julie Albin recently judged two wine competitions in London – the International Wine Challenge and Decanter World Wine...

Wine 101
May 02, 2022

What’s the Deal with Chilling Red Wine?

Should red wines be chilled? The short answer: yes, but don’t go tossing any red wine in your fridge. Here...

April 20, 2022

Best Cellars Spotlight: Folk & Fable Wines

Of all our Bright Cellars wines, there’s one that never fails to impress, time and time again. From its bold,...

Wine 101
April 14, 2022

7 Things to Know About Malbec Wine

You know about the ever-popular Cabernet Sauvignon, and you probably know a thing or two about Merlot. It’s time we...

Wine 101
Wine Facts
April 07, 2022

What Is a Red Blend Wine?

What is a red blend wine and why do winemakers blend wines? We're explaining the magical process that is blending...

Tips + Tricks
March 29, 2022

Spring Cleaning: Wine Bar Cart Essentials

As the weather warms, use this handy checklist of wine bar cart essentials to prepare yourself for spring sipping.

March 25, 2022

NEW! Colorfast Wine Label Spring Cleaning

In the true spirit of spring cleaning, we’re excited to unveil something we’ve been working on behind the scenes. Introducing...

Wine Inspiration
March 22, 2022

Sipping Through Spring: Wine Playlist

Imagine: You're sitting on a blanket at the park with sunshine on your face, a good read in one hand,...

Wine 101
March 16, 2022

A Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of White Wine

Not sure where to start with white wine? Here are the most common types of white wines you'll see at...

February 28, 2022

How to Be the Main Character of Your Wine Experience

Some call it main character energy. We call it good wine vibes. Everyone’s story is different – whether you’re just...

Wine 101
Wine Facts
February 09, 2022

How to Talk About Wine: Wine Terms to Know

From tannin to terroir, here's how to talk about wine and the top wine terms to know for your next...

Wine 101
January 27, 2022

What Are Wine Sulfites & Which Wines Are Low Sulfite Wines?

Sulfites get a bad rap in the wine world, but the truth is, they’re essential to the winemaking process. So,...

Wine Inspiration
January 21, 2022

37 Wine Quotes to Keep You Inspired

Wine quotes are like a good glass of wine - they can truly take your day from good to great....

Wine 101
January 21, 2022

What is Wine Sediment and How Does It Get In My Glass?

In your wine lifetime, you may have experienced wine sediment - traces of the winemaking process left in wine that...

Wine 101
January 14, 2022

Can Wine Freeze? 3 Hacks for Frozen Wine

We know hard alcohol can’t freeze, but can wine freeze? Here's the explanation you've been waiting for and a few...

Wine 101
January 12, 2022

Red Wine vs White Wine: What’s The Difference?

We're sharing the fundamental differences of red wine vs. white wine, plus how you should serve both types of wine.

Tips + How To
January 07, 2022

7 Ways to Embrace Try January, Instead of a Dry January

New Year’s resolutions don’t always have to involve giving something up. Here are 7 ways to make this month a...

Wine 101
December 31, 2021

Sparkling Wine VS Champagne: What’s the Difference?

As we ring in the New Year, it’s important to address this surprisingly common question - what is the difference...

Tips + How To
December 16, 2021

7 Wine Holiday Traditions to Start this Year

Some holiday traditions are just better with wine. Here are 7 creative ways to celebrate the season with vino, year...

Wine Inspiration
December 10, 2021

Last Minute Gifts That Will Arrive In Time

These last minute gifts are great for wine lovers and are guaranteed to arrive before the holidays. Check out these...

Wine Inspiration
December 03, 2021

25 Best Christmas Songs and Wine Pairings

From classic carols to modern hits, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the best Christmas songs and pairing them...

Tips + Tricks
Wine Inspiration
December 03, 2021

Holiday Hacks: How to Reuse Your Bright Cellars Box

Instead of tossing your box on the curb, here are a few holiday hacks and DIY wine bottle crafts to...

Pairing Tips
December 02, 2021

Top Wine Pairings for Your Holiday Dinner – No Matter What You Cele...

The holidays are all about enjoying good food! Here are the perfect holiday dinner and wine pairings – no matter...

Wine 101
November 29, 2021

Winter Wine: The Best Winter Reds

There’s nothing like cozying up next to a fire with a glass of winter wine in hand. Here are the...

Wine Inspiration
November 26, 2021

Gift Guide: Gifts for Wine Lovers

Wondering what to get someone who loves wine? From the Wine Newbie to the Cocktail Connoisseur, here are the perfect...

Wine Inspiration
November 24, 2021

7 Reasons to be Thankful for Wine

When you go around the table this Thanksgiving and share what you're thankful for, don't forget to be thankful for...

By The Numbers
November 23, 2021

Your Favorite Wine Cocktails, Ranked

There’s something special about the seasons changing. It’s the perfect time to try a new wine or get out of...

Pairing Tips
November 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes & Wine Pairings

You can only eat turkey so many days in a row. Here are the best Thanksgiving leftover recipes and the...

Wine Inspiration
November 19, 2021

2021 Black Friday Wine Deals

Whether you're a wine beginner or seasoned sipper, here are the best Black Friday wine deals for wine lovers alike.

Wine Inspiration
November 12, 2021

The Best Holiday Wine Gift Subscription On The Internet

We found the perfect holiday wine gift to give your loved one all the warm and fuzzies this holiday season.

Wine 101
November 12, 2021

How to Open a Bottle of Wine

Grab your corkscrew and your favorite Bright Cellars wine - we're teaching you how to open a bottle of wine...

Wine 101
November 04, 2021

How to Read a Wine Label

Deciphering wine labels can be downright confusing. Today we're teaching you how to read a wine label in four easy...

Wine Inspiration
October 29, 2021

Have You Ever Visited a Vineyard?

There are some experiences that are simply irreplaceable when it comes to wine. We asked our Bright Cellars’ community, “Have...

Tips + Tricks
Wine 101
October 29, 2021

How to Taste Wine

How to Taste Wine in 3 Easy Steps https://youtu.be/yZiVhcLNCto Anyone can drink wine, but tastin’ wine ain’t easy. In order...

Hosting Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 28, 2021

Don’t Forget the Wine: A Holiday Hosting Checklist

Are you hosting for the holidays? Check out our holiday hosting checklist focused on, you guessed it, wine!

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 21, 2021

How to Pair Wine With Your Fall Charcuterie Board

Get creative for your next fall get together! Here are our recommendations for pairing wine with your next fall charcuterie...

Pairing Tips
October 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Wines Based on Your Favorite Side Dish

In some situations, it’s okay to play favorites! Here’s which wine you should drink based on your favorite Thanksgiving side...

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 19, 2021

5 Apple Dessert and Wine Pairings Perfect for Fall

Move over pumpkin, it's apple's time to shine! These 5 fall apple desserts and wine pairings are perfect for celebrating...

Hosting Tips
Tips + How To
October 15, 2021

How to Throw a Hallowine Party

If you think Halloween is just for kids, think again. Here are 5 foolproof ways to take your celebration from...

Wine Cocktails
Wine Inspiration
October 15, 2021

How to Make Mulled Wine (And Other Fall Cocktails)

There’s just something special about a homemade fall wine cocktail. Here's how to make mulled wine (and other fall cocktails!)

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 14, 2021

Pairing Wine With Halloween Candy: The Ultimate Guide

Sometimes you have to treat yourself! These 12 Halloween candy and wine pairings are perfect for ending spooky season and...

Pairing Tips
October 11, 2021

9 Wines for Pumpkin Spice Lovers

Some call it fall, others call is pumpkin spice season! Here are 9 wines perfect for pumpkin spice lovers for...