As with everything—beach picnics no exception— location is key. Somewhere more secluded is usually nice so that you can relax and set up camp, or maybe you’re more about that see-and-be-scene vibe for this outing. When scouting your spot, take a minute to inform yourself about the beach’s alcohol policy—not usually a deal-breaker (who said that?!), but just best to be aware of to prepare accordingly. Also, just as a general PSA: Sand. Wherever you go, it’s a beach, it’s going to have sand, and it WILL get in things. Ready yourself against the sand onslaught by bringing a blanket and a can-do attitude.
You’re headed out to the beach for the day, you better get yourself equipped. Let’s start with the essentials. You’re going to need something to sit on: whether that’s a beach towel for one or a Pendleton blanket for your six closest friends and the Sunset Magazine photographers, that’s up to you. Get your flatware, bowls, plates, etc. for the food you’ve prepared—and, if you’re going paper, make sure it’s sturdy (no one wants a soggy plate breaking and landing their brie in the sand). You’ll need glasses for those beverages, of course; preferably of the non-fragile variety, unless you’re feeling dangerous. Some kind of cooler solution is an absolute necessity to keep your picnic snacks and drinks cold throughout the day. You could invest in something portable, or go the metal-tub-&-ice route. Take special care to avoid the greatest tragedy of all: getting all the way to the beach just to realize you’ve forgotten a wine bottle opener. Get all of the necessary wine tools assembled—a corkscrew and, of course, your trusty Aervana—package them up and put them with something you won’t forget, for good measure (personally, that would mean by the cheese).
Speaking of cheese, you really can’t go wrong with a good ole charcuterie board for a beach picnic. Whatever you make, they key is to prepare as much as humanly possible beforehand (no one wants to cut a baguette in the sand, really). Pre-slice and pre-package your way to picnic bliss. Keep in mind, also, that whatever you bring will likely spend some time sitting out in the sun, so go easy on the dairy. And things you can eat with your hands are really king—a couple of big sandwiches to share? YUM (we made things extra easy and picked up a few delicious sammies from Homegrown in Seattle). Whether you’re more in the mood for an easy-going take-out picnic or an all-out tasting menu evening, you’ll still need hand sanitizer and wipes, so don’t forget them!
On to the important things. No picnic is truly complete without some good wine to share with friends. And the great thing about a late summer picnic is that you can have your rosé and drink your Cab Sav, too. For your rosés and whites—and for the beer and cocktails, too, if you’re planning a diverse picnic—make sure you have a cooler and plenty of ice. Dispensing your reds with Aervana means A) removing a potential spill/mess situation and B) a super good time. It’s good to keep in mind that you’ll be sitting in the sun all day, too, and something will a lower ABV might be the safer bet, depending on what sort of night you have in mind. Keep one eye to the subtly requirements necessary to enjoy your lovely wine on the beach, kick back, and imbibe.