Dining Al Fresco with Charles Smith Wines

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Summer is the best. Fun in the sun all day long, the Washington rain has said goodbye for now, and dinners on the patio. Even if we’re not making dinner outside, we’re eating outside most evenings. I just want to soak in as much of the summer as possible so we take any excuse we can to dine al fresco, usually with yummy grilled food and maybe a glass of chilled wine. What I don’t love though? Toting my entire kitchen in and out with every meal. So, being the lover I am of any kind of kit, I decided to throw one together to make dining al fresco, super-o easy-o.

For my kit, I keep a few essentials:

  • Galvanized tray (something I use for parties and outdoor entertaining all the time and love),

  • Melamine plates

  • Tongs for serving

  • Easy-wash cloth napkins

  • Set of silverware

  • An ice bucket to keep wine chilled

  • A bottle opener

  • All purpose Mason jars - perfect for everything from ice water to chardonnay

  • Wine bottle stopper

All of these things I was able to gather from my house so it was my favorite price - F-R-E-E and it makes it SO much easier to get dinner on the table. All of these things are easy to just wash and put back on the tray at the end of the evening, so it’s ready to go the next day. And on nice days that I know we’ll be outside most of the day, I just let it sit on the outdoor dining set so there’s nothing stopping us from stopping and enjoying a meal together, drinking a little wine, and soaking up the summer fun.

What I really love about the tray isn’t just that it makes my life way easier and meals way easier, but it also doubles as a serving tray once the food is ready. Disassemble and set the table, then you have a tray ready for food or drinks to serve everyone.

And since it’s Washington Wine Month, we’ve been loving keeping that ice bucket stocked with new wines from right here in Washington. This state sure knows its stuff when it comes to Vino so we can always trust we’ll be happy when we grab a local bottle. Lately, we’re really digging Charles Smith wines, which conveniently enough, we can find at our local grocery store. The best part, though, is that the wine is delicious and super fun too. It’s good enough to make the evening feel special, but the fun designs on the bottles are a fun addition to the table, making for good conversation - the fourth pillar of summertime bliss.

Our favorites lately have been the Kung Fu Girl Riesling and the Eve Chardonnay. The Kung Fu Girl Riesling, a top rated wine by Wine Spectator is slightly sweeter and so so good at the end of a hot day, especially with the hint of citrus that every riesling needs. The Eve Chardonnay, a top rated wine by many publications, and my personal fav - is a Washington wine at its best. It’s got some nice notes of Washington apples right at the end and it’s so refreshing without being too sweet.

And just like dining Al Fresco, this wine is perfect for enjoying any time. Not just the special occasions, which I’ll admit, both wine and eating dinner out on the deck used to feel like an only-once-in-a-while special occasion type thing. So if you’re like me and want to feel prepared for outdoor dining (you know… so you’ll actually do it!), feel free to use this as inspiration for your own Al Fresco dining tray. And don’t forget the wine - it very well might be the most important part.

And Psssst - It’s Washington Wine Month. And Washington happens to be the home of the Charles Smith Wine collection. Washington state has more than 900 wineries and 350 vineyards. #WAWineMonth calls on you to explore and support local award-winning brands that put Washington winemaking on the map. To learn more, visit www.WaWineMonth.com
Sara Morris1 Comment