By Allison Ellis / Special to Sunday Market
Whether you’re hosting friends on the patio or preparing a picnic in the park, summer events call for a great bottle (or two) of wine.
Here are some products to help make the most of the sunny season’s wine events, as well as local varietals you’ll savor to the last drop.
Be sure bottles are easily accessible with the industrial-chic Iron Accents Galvanized Wine Trough ($325 at ironaccents.com), featuring an antique finish and iron base. Or create an instant centerpiece with the Pottery Barn Blond Wood Wine Trough ($89), which combines hand-carved mango wood and a galvanized iron bin.
With two glass shelves, and wine-bottle and stemware racks, the Coaster Home Furnishings Serving Cart ($78 at Amazon.com) is a versatile piece that can be moved indoors if the weather turns.
Make sure the whole table has access to drinks and snacks with the whimsical Wine Enthusiast Quarter Barrel Top Lazy Susan ($150 at wineenthusiast.com). It’s cut from an oak wine barrel, with the steel hoop and spigot still intact.
Heading to an outdoor concert? Stake out your space with a Modern Cabin Waterproof Picnic Blanket ($140–$170 at etsy.com/shop/moderncabin). The roomy blankets are handcrafted in Portland in modern, vibrant fabrics with waterproof nylon bottoms. For a smaller, lightweight option, check out Anorak’s Picnic Blankets ($62 at artsymodern.com), featuring hip graphic prints of rolling hills, horses, dogs or birds.
Set up your wine and cheese on Crate and Barrel’s Table in a Bag ($50), a portable table-on-the-go that’s just the right height for lounging on the ground. Or kick back in style with the Whit McLeod Folding Wine Barrel Chair ($219 at wineenthusiast.com). Each chair is made from salvaged oak wine barrels, and the slats nest nicely for easy transport.
A family outing or couples date calls for the Picnic at Ascot Deluxe Picnic Cooler for 4 ($100 at REI). It has separate, insulated compartments for your food and wine, as well as a front pocket for the included dinnerwear, cheese knife and corkscrew.
A wine picnic isn’t complete without a cheese course. The handy Picnic Time Circo Cheese Set ($20 at Bed Bath and Beyond) swivels open to reveal four cheese tools nestled inside. Get a version with the Mariners logo engraved on the rubberwood surface for $33.
GLASSES & ACCESSORIES
When dining alfresco, opt for easy-to-hold, shatterproof glasses, such as Govino’s Stemless Wine Glasses ($13 for four at cb2.com). These BPA-free plastic glasses look like the real deal, and feature a thumb notch to prevent drops.
For even more rugged terrain — such as campsites and hiking trails — try Uncommon Goods’ Silicone Wine Glasses ($20 for two at uncommongoods.com). They squish down to fit in a backpack and pop back into shape when it’s time to celebrate at the summit.
Out-of-town guests can get to know our fair city and keep track of their stemware with Designs by Dazzle’s Seattle Landmark Wine Charms ($15 for six at designsbydazzle.com). The charms are designed and handmade by Auburn-based sisters Jamie Quinlan and Annie Marshall.
Forgot to chill the white? Seattle-based True Fabrications sells products to save the day. Host’s Chill Cooling Pour Spout ($19) works inside the bottle, while the Host Freeze Cooling Wine Glass ($25 for two, both at truefabrications.com) chills by the glass.
You’ve got the gear, now what to drink? Look no further than Eight Bells Winery’s2011 Sangiovese ($20 at Eight Bells Winery, Whole Foods and McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants).
The small urban winery is located in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood, and its sangiovese features bright dried-cherry notes and soft tannins. It’s sealed with a glass stopper rather than a cork — no wine opener required.
Another vibrant red blend, with notes of dark fruit, chocolate and tart cherries, is àMaurice Cellars’ 2009 Pour Me ($17–$20 at Metropolitan Market), produced by the award-winning winery in Walla Walla.
When lighter fare is on the menu, pop open a rosé. With notes of wild strawberry and hibiscus, the Charles & Charles 2013 Rosé ($13 at Esquin Wine & Spirits, downtown) is a winner from Walla Walla’s Charles Smith family of wines.
Woodinville’s Chateau Ste. Michelle offers some of the finest whites anywhere, most priced at $10–$15 at grocery stores. Favorites include the citrusy 2012 Horse Heaven Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, the floral 2012 Pinot Gris and the fruity 2012 Harvest Select Sweet Riesling.