Summer is here (not technically, I know, but it’s hot, so who cares?), and with summer comes the life outdoors: lounging by the pool, hiking in the mountains, basking on the beach, sweating like a beast in the New York City subways…
Unfortunately, traditional wine accoutrements—glassware, bottles, that sort of thing—aren’t so great in places where backpacks, bare feet and beaches are involved.
With that in mind, I recently checked out some additions to the always bizarre wine gadgets market (case in point, this) and landed on a few winners.
At the top of the list—no doubt because I spend as much time as I can in the summer sitting in camp chairs by the water—is The Wine Hook ($9.99). Camp chairs inevitably come with a holder for beer cans; anyone with a wine glass is consigned to juggling a plate of food in one hand and their wine glass in the other. This plastic clip clamps onto the arm of the chair and holds your wine glass—quite steadily, too. Adventure-travel lovers who are hauling camp chairs over rocks or up mountain passes might also like the Wine Trek ($30), a bottle-hugging, insulated case that can easily clip onto your pack.
Less active summer wine drinkers might be interested in a clever new Kickstarter project called Pointer (not available yet, but the prototype I saw was very high quality). It solves the perennial problem of trying to balance a wine glass on grass and could also be a pretty lethal lawn dart, too, in case escaped convicts invade your cookout in the park. If you prefer your summers to be stemless, these new silicone wine glasses from Cusan ($19 for two) are bizarrely flexible but mighty handy; empty, they can be folded up and put in your pocket. As an added bonus, they bounce. For traditionalists who must have glass, though, Lifefactory’s wine glasses ($24.99 for two) are actual glass protected by colorful silicone sleeves.
Finally, for the boxed-wine gang who would prefer not to be seen as cheap, I suggest purchasing the Wine Sack ($69.95), a nifty (and very durable) nylon and plastic bag that ups the cool quotient (not least because you can stuff a small ice pack in there, too) of your 3-liter box o’ booze quite significantly. You will walk into the pool party with your head held high, carrying the Wine Sack. So much higher, for instance, than if you'd brought a bottle that was wearing these.