While we wait for pubs and restaurants to re-open, outdoor meetups are happening again. But the world of al fresco boozing is strewn with pitfalls. Luckily for you I’ve done all the hard work – here’s our guide to boozing in the great outdoors.
Ditch wines with a cork
Don’t be that person who brings a bottle of wine with a cork and forgets your opener. If you do get stuck in this very relatable situation, there’s one trick that works; take your shoe off, pop the bottle of wine inside the shoe and bang it against a tree until the top of the cork shows itself, then pull with your teeth.
But this should be a last resort, especially as there are so many different and brilliant alternatives to the glass bottles. For decades the lack of glass and cork would have indicated a lack of quality but today there are plenty of quality producers are using alternatives, such as Bagnum – a magnum in a bag!
The packaging keeps the wine fresh and smashable for weeks, saving both the environment (up to 80 per cent lower carbon emissions than glass packaged wines) and your wallet. During the summer I always have one of these in my fridge. I’ve also taken a few to Glastonbury – I always freeze them the night before so I have chilled delicious rose on tap.
The wine is easy to drink but don’t be fooled. Emma and Andrew Nielsen, who make the wine in Burgundy, are some of the best winemakers around.
Wine in a can
There are many ‘wine spritz in a can’ options that are super-refreshing and easy to drink. One of the best is Ramona, a wine spritz in a can that was created by an ex sommelier.
Also check out this great Californian wine in a can by winemaker Evan Frazier.
Watch the ABV
After being stuck inside for so long it’s easy to get carried away, especially when the sun is shinning and you’re drinking something delicious. Spirits are especially dangerous, so while picking up a bottle of Hendrick’s may be tempting, perhaps ease yourself in with something a little less potent. A great alternative to is sherry & tonic. Sherry is lower a lower ABV than gin, has loads more flavour and is nutty and rich, perfect with snacks and tapas.
When you think of drinks in the park, the first thing that comes to mind in pink wine. But rose can also be pale and tasteless, relying on colour and marketing over quality. For me rose is best when it has some bite to it, and for an alternative style of rose we’re heading to the Basque country. This very slightly sparkling pink wine is one of the most refreshing and enjoyable wines I’ve had in a long time.
In the Basque country they pour the wine from a height over their head to knock the slight fizz out of the wine – and this can be your new party trick.
Cider has had a bad rep recently due to all the sugar and additive packed options available. Oliver’s Cider from Herefordshire is one of my favourite cider makers in the country. It make exceptional dry styles of cider, carefully choosing and blending varieties. It’s a quality product and is now available in a tin, too.
These ciders are perfect on their own but also great with some stinky cheese, perfect for picnics in the great outdoors.