Party on the Patio: Summer Wines

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Having a great outdoor space gives you more opportunities to spend time with family and friends. A themed party on the patio can vanquish our work-a-day blues and turn an unassuming weeknight into a fun-filled event. Wine-tasting parties are especially popular to have outdoors. There’s nothing like a summer night combined with a beautifully chilled glass of wine to give you an “attitude adjustment.”

Wines served chilled are usually whites, but there some special reds are meant to be consumed chilled. The latest trend, though, are rosés. Attorney-turned-wine-expert Vicki Miller of vinocityevents.com says there are a ton of fabulous rosés available now.

Served at temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F, rosés are a perfect summer pick-me-up. Ms. Miller suggests finding five different wines for your tasting party. “Great rosés are coming from South American countries like Chile,” Ms. Miller notes. “Look around different regions around the world. You can also check out our blog “Wines that Pair Well with Grilled Food

One thing that is key for a summer wine-tasting party outside is to use stemmed glasses. “The reason you have a stem on your wine glass is so your hands won’t warm the glass,” Ms. Miller says. “You aren’t unduly warming the wines.” Inexpensive and generic wine glasses will do. Don’t worry about the size or what the glasses look like, just be sure to buy glasses with stems.

If you don’t want to limit your selection to rosés, definitely branch out to sparkling wines or chardonnays. Appetizers or larger grilled meals will work, but make sure to match the wine with the traditional food of its region. Also: avoid spicy foods. “Spicy food burns up the pallet,” says Ms. Miller. “You won’t be able to taste [the wine] well.”

What if word travels fast and your guest list explodes? Then it’s time to hire an expert. Ms. Miller’s company Vinocity specializes in corporate and private events for anything from CEO seminars to bridal showers. “The more people you have, the more it gets out of control. We talk with you one-on-one, then we bring the wine, the glasses. We handle everything,” says Ms. Miller. “We offer more education about the wines [than you could present on your own]. You have no fuss, and everybody has a great time!”

So think about which wines you’d like to share. If you want guests to bring wines, give them a region and a wine type. Send out a link to a free sign-up sheet so no-one brings duplicates. Mostly, don’t stress! Patios are meant to be shared, just like a nice bottle of wine.