Wine-lovers rejoice: Clever hacks to see you through summer

Wine on patio

Sunny summer days call for kicking back on a patio, cracking open a bottle of wine, and toasting the season with good friends.

It also calls for genius wine hacks — little tricks that every wine lover needs.

“With summer, there are the classics: how to chill wine quickly and keep it cool in the sun,” said Kady Smith, an assistant manager at Everything Wine. “To chill wine, dampen some paper towels or a tea towel and wrap it around the bottle, then put it in the freezer. It only takes about 10 minutes. To keep it chilled, place the wine in a bucket of ice and keep it cool by adding salt to your bucket. Salt will lower the freezing temperature of the ice.”

Smith, who has studied wine and has been in the industry for 10 years, shared a few other hacks to make your summer sipping delicious:

Fantastic Frosé

Also known as frozen rosé or a rosé slushy, this cool drink is having its moment in the sun.

The simplest way to make it is to pour rosé into popsicle or other freezer moulds; the wine won’t freeze completely, and after about 25 minutes will be ready to transfer into glasses.

You could also pour a bottle of rosé into a blender along with two cups of strawberries, one-half cup superfine sugar, one-third cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, and ice and blend until slushy.

For any version of the pink drink, Smith recommends Barton & Guestier Cuvée Speciale Rosé ($16.99): “It’s fresh, it’s crisp, and it has lots of cherry characteristics, and it has a little bit of sweetness on the finish,” she said.

Wine picnic

Chill out

What to do when you’re going on a picnic but don’t happen to have a wine insulator on hand?  Head to your clothes drawers.

“Being a true Vancouverite, I have those insulated hiking socks,” Smith said. “Any sock for outdoor activity will work. Throw a cold bottle of wine in one of those when you pack your picnic, and you’re good to go.”

You can also use frozen green or red grapes to keep your wine cold, without adding ice cubes which would only water it down.

Cool reds

When it comes to chilled wine, most people might think of crisp whites or those fruity rosés. In fact, some reds work nicely on ice, too. “Anything on the lighter-bodied side or more fruity side in its profile actually tastes better slightly chilled,” Smith said. “A lot of red-wine drinkers don’t like white wine, but want something more refreshing in summer. A lighter, really fruity red wine really does benefit from a little bit of time in the fridge.”

Try Les Valentine Carignan Syrah from France ($18.99), a fruity, approachable red with hints of plum and baking spices that would go beautifully with a charcuterie plate for those summer evenings when you don’t feel like cooking.


Useful cubes

If you happen to find yourself with leftover wine, pour it into ice-cube trays. You can use it for cooking, to make sauces — or, if it’s a favourite wine that you often have on hand, the next time you open a bottle, plop a few cubes into your glass so you can cool it down with the same wine.

Quick cocktails

Wine-based cocktails are becoming more popular, but you don’t need a fully decked-out bar to make some delicious ones at home. Simply pour a fruity red wine over ice with lemon or lime soda. Try Cappo Shiraz from Spain ($11.99): “It’s got lots of ripe and juicy fruit characteristics and has a nice, lush finish,” Smith said.

If you’re making sangria, instead of triple sec, consider a splash of bourbon for a little edge. A fuller-bodied red like California’s Blackstone Merlot ($18.99) is a great pick for this classic summer evening drink. Interested in experimenting with some new wine cocktails? Try one of these.


Everything Wine’s River District store, opening soon at 8570 River District Crossing in South Vancouver and other locations — at 998 Marine Dr. in North Vancouver, 112-15735 Croydon Dr. in Surrey, and 31 – 2401 Millstream Rd. in Langford on Vancouver Island — will have their tasting bar open daily from 2-6 p.m. and offer free delivery on orders of $200 or more. Visit for more details, to order online or for some happy summer sippers!

The best way to learn more is to talk to Everything Wine’s approachable, friendly staff, who are eager to answer any questions and can suggest wines to suit every taste, occasion and budget. Samples are available at the tasting bar daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Visit in person at 998 Marine Dr. in North Vancouver, 112-15735 Croydon Dr. in Surrey, 31-2401 Millstream Rd. in Langford on Vancouver Island or shop online at

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Everything Wine and first published on the Vancouver Sun's website.

Article by G Marion Johnson.