Stocking your Wine Cooler for Summer Entertaining

Barbecues and wine – the two go hand-in-hand, especially after Memorial Day, which seemingly snuck up on us. All backyards fit for entertaining have wine coolers right next to their grills, and yours should too. But the real question is, what do people want to drink when they come over for a barbecue?

Consider, first, the fact that you’re going to be outdoors in the heat. No one wants anything that’s going to be too strong, and everyone wants to drink something that tastes good cold. For your lovers of deeper wine, sangria is always a good choice. It’s a red blended with some fruit and brandy to create a summer drink that’s sweet and refreshing, and it tastes great chilled.

For hanging out by the fire at night, though, you want to keep some chilled whites in stock. Chardonnays go great with a nice dinner, and sweeter wines, like Rieslings and moscatos, go great for afterward as a dessert wine. If you’re looking for a white that’s easy to sip whether it’s day or night, though, get yourself a larger bottle of sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio so you have enough to share.

 Of course, not everyone likes wine, and it’s fair to break the rules a little when it comes to what you want in your wine cooler. Be sure to keep a few bottles of summery beers, such as citrusy wheat beers or crisp pale ales, for the hop-heads of your event to sip on in the heat. Keeping a tall bottle of plain vodka will also mean that you’ve got martinis on-the-ready for a more sophisticated and low-key sort of night.

 The main point, though, is that when you’re entertaining, wine coolers should always be stocked with something that everyone will like. Don’t bend over backwards to adhere to everyone’s differing (and expensive) tastes – just stick with a few traditional favorites and enjoy the seasonal fun.

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