Summer is here! And after many months spent indoors, we think it's time to take full advantage of the beautiful weather and make this summer as amazing and glamorous as possible – with wine of course! Because what better way to capitalize on summer and pamper yourself than enjoying a nice glass of wine and treating yourself?
Here’s the thing: We believe that wine is the perfect refreshment at any occasion – whether you’re at the Met Gala or in your living room. We delight in pairing wine with casual everyday fare (like Chinese takeout, fried cheese curds, and even hot cheetos) because it tastes great.
While you don’t need all the frills of a multi-course sit-down dinner with the Queen to enjoy a glass of wine, there is something undeniably elegant about swirling a stemmed glass. And we think now is the time to lean into that classy feeling because you just spent the last three months on the couch in sweatpants (no judgement, so did we).
When you’re in the mood to feel fabulous and make this the best summer ever, check out these nine wine-focused ways to make your summer more glamorous.
#1 Wine-Themed Spa DayIf you're unable to travel abroad to the kind of spa that offers a wine bath (yes, that’s a thing), you can #treatyourself to your favorite luxury spa service right at home. Red wine facials are all the rage right now. Nutritionists believe that the antioxidants in red wine – such as resveratrol and tannins – can improve the skin’s complexion, while the antiseptic and antibacterial properties in red wine can help fight acne. Simply pick your favorite red wine and select any of these easy DIY services from the menu:
Red Wine CleanserMix a tablespoon of lemon juice with four tablespoons of red wine. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to your face.
Red Wine ScrubMake an exfoliating paste with red wine, coffee grounds, and coconut oil. Rub the paste into your skin in a circular motion.
Red Wine Facial MassageMix red wine, aloe vera gel, and a few drops of your favorite skin-safe essential oil, and massage onto your skin. Spend some extra time on your temples for maximum relaxation.
Red Wine Face Mask
Mix a cup of green tea, two tablespoons warm honey, one tablespoon plain yogurt, and one tablespoon red wine. Spread the mask over your face and leave it on for 15 minutes.
#2 Give Yourself a New Look for Summer
According to Instagram, lots of people died their hair at home during quarantine. New summer, new do! If you were thinking about a color change, the beginning of summer is the time. While red wine can’t actually change your hair color, you can certainly use it as inspiration. Here’s how to dye your hair to match the hue of your favorite vino.
#3 Get Dressed Up for a Picnic in the Park
The fastest way to feel glamorous? Dress the part. Put on your most fabulous caftan and sun hat – or whatever makes you feel like your best self – and hit up your local park for an afternoon picnic. Any picnic basket will do, but we’re pretty jazzed about these nine picnic baskets that securely holds all of the essentials – a bottle of wine, a couple of glasses, a corkscrew, and plenty of snacks. An afternoon spent people-watching in the sun with a chilled glass (or can) of wine and a hunk of that bread you made last week just might help you forget the world for a couple of hours.
#4 Hold a Wine Tasting at Home
Rather than simply pouring a glass of wine and flipping on the Amazon Prime movie du jour, why not make the wine its own event? It’s surprisingly easy to curate your own wine tasting without having to go to a wine bar. Simply choose 3-4 different bottles and pour 2-3 oz glasses. Pick the bottles around a theme – whether that’s a single varietal from different regions or different varietals from the same region. To make it a blind tasting, make placemats out of white paper. Draw and label a circle for each glass, then cover each bottle in tin foil or a bag, and pour it into the corresponding glass. Finally, take a couple minutes to savor each glass of wine, using all of your senses.
#5 Splurge on a Custom Cheese Board
Wine tastings pair well with snacks, and is there a better companion to wine than cheese? We think not. Get yourself one of these fancy curated cheese boards to match your tastes and elevate your next socially distanced happy hour. It's also the perfect snack to enjoy while lounging on your patio in the sunshine with a cold glass of vino.
#6 Light a Fancy Wine Candle
One of the easiest ways to make your summer more glamorous is to invest in some quality candles! There’s something about lighting a candle that immediately changes the atmosphere of your space and helps you start to chill out. Turn off the overheads, open the windows to let in the summer breeze, and get some soft candlelight going with a wine candle, like one of these chic and sophisticated repurposed wine bottle candles. Maybe put on some music. Take out your journal or adult coloring book. Let yourself slip into a new headspace.
#7 Pair Dinner with Wine
How do you elevate dinner from your typical third-meal-of-the-day to an occasion? By pairing it with a bottle of wine, of course. And because summer is all about grilling outside, it's easy to make your weeknight grilled meal into a perfectly paired wine experience using these tips.
Rather than simply picking out your favorite bottle, think about food pairings like a sommelier. You can even don a beret if that helps you get in the mood. Consider the primary flavors in your meal, and choose a wine that will either heighten or contrast those elements. Here are some basic rules of thumb:
Acid and Fat
These elements balance each other out. If fat is the major component in a dish, be it from a creamy sauce or the type of protein, choose a wine with high acidity to cut through the fat. For instance, buttery Chicken Francaise pairs well with a light, zippy white wine.
Salty and Sweet
These flavors also work well in contrast. Salty foods, like hot dogs or fried rice, pair well with a slightly sweeter wine, or a wine with abundant fruit flavors. Fruity aromas can sometimes give the impression of sweetness.
Spicy dishes generally want a cool, low-alcohol wine to balance out the heat. A slightly-sweet Riesling or an aromatic Gewürztraminer is often a good choice for hot and spicy foods.
What Grows Together Goes Together.
In general, picking a wine made in the same region as your dinner is a good rule of thumb. Spaghetti and tomato sauce pairs well with Chianti, an Italian red. Seafood paella loves a Spanish Albariño. Oregon Pinot is a hit alongside local cheeses.
#8 Watch a Wine-Themed Movie Outside
Hit pause on the reality TV drama and treat yourself to a night at the cinema – right from your living room or your own DIY backyard movie theater. Choose a film about wine – perhaps something on this list of the best wine moves, which includes comedies, dramas, and documentaries. Then pour yourself a glass, sit back, and relax. Not only will you enjoy a night at the movies, but you might also learn something new about wine.
#9 Make it a Game
Do you have a summer soirée or outdoor happy hour coming up? Playing a game or making it a trivia night is a great way to keep everyone engaged and entertained while relaxing on your patio. When you play a wine-themed game you can learn more about wine and – if you’re the expert in the group – show off your vino know-how to all your friends.
Feeling competitive? Host a wine-themed trivia night. Encourage your friends to name their team after their favorite wine, and include any categories that you think will play to their strengths – be it numbers and dates or wine history. Here are 27 wine-themed trivia questions to get you started. Remember any trivia game is made more fun with a visual round. Consider taking one of the many virtual vineyard tours that are available right now, and then pulling your newfound knowledge into your trivia game.