Camping is delightfully unglamorous (unless you are a glamper), but that doesn’t mean your wine should come from a box! While enjoying the great outdoors, make sure you’re enjoying your meals, too. When the campfire crackles and the meat is grilled to perfection, you’ll want to cozy up to a great glass of Paso Robles wine (and some effective bug spray). These 5 summer camping wine hacks will have you toasting to great taste—even if you haven’t washed your hair in over a week.
1. The Cooler the Better
It may sound weird to put your red wine in the cooler, but your car is hotter than you think. The next time you head for a pitstop bathroom break, remember that the temperature inside your car (and your wine bottle) could be soaring upwards of 80 degrees! Ensure that your reds and whites are always cool and keep all bottles out of direct sunlight when out and about, as heat can truly “cook” your wine into a nasty liquid. Strayed too far from your cooler but want to bust out a bodacious picnic? Submerge your wine in a lake or stream until ready to sip.
2. Less is More
Less packaging, that is. No one wants to haul around bags of bottles when packing up and heading home. Reduce your footprint and vow to bring only the best crowd-pleasers, like JUSTIN’s iconic Isosceles (which has yet to disappoint). It’s amazing how few bottles of wine you’ll need to dazzle the whole group (and you won’t have to deal with pesky beer cans piling up).
3. Gourmet on the Go
Campfire chili is a staple of good summertime grubbing. Hearty, kid-approved, and easy to make over an open fire, this is the “last night meal” you’ll want to make to celebrate a week well spent in the wilderness. Want to elevate the wow factor? Add a glug of Paso Robles wine and see just how the flavors deepen in no time flat. Try this recipe for campfire chili with a Dutch Oven and you’ll never go back to eating out of the can again. All you need to do is add a touch of red wine about 30 minutes before serving and allow the dish to simmer to perfection. Try a fruit froward red, like one of Peachy Canyon Winery’s many famous zinfandels. Don’t forget to pair your chili with a tall glass of zinfandel, too (the adults will thank you). Extra points for adding some fancy shredded cheese on top!
4. Consider the Menu
This sounds a little fancy for a camping trip, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. We aren’t suggesting you pair your wine down to the last detail, but a few minutes of consideration now can ensure you’ll be loving your dinner once the campfire heats up. Planning on exclusively grilling fish you catch on the lake or packing nothing but burgers and brats for grilling? For the lighter side, grab a few Rhone whites from Clavo Cellars. Beefier items will go great with a bold Bordeaux red from Dubost Vineyard and Winery. It just makes sense to keep all the flavors in the same ballpark, even if you’ll be using paper towels and plastic forks!
5. Snack Better
Lighter fluid and SPF are important bottles to pack, but don’t forget the most important bottle: EVOO! Hear me out. Not only will you use it for lubing up your cast iron pan, you’ll also want to drizzle it over hunks of crusty bread (the easiest snack in the world), and it can even be used on a burn or insect bite in a quick pinch. If you’re planning on bringing a bag of protein-packed almonds or cashews, you’re on your way to a delicious cheese plate on the go! Drizzle Pasolivo EVOO over the nuts and crumble up a bit of semi-hard cheese. Add a few sprigs of fresh herbs, kept moist in a paper towel. Now this is trail mix as Paso Robles winemakers intended!
This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.
Looking for a place to stay in Paso Robles?
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.
Majestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping.
Enjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves.
Paso Robles Vacation Rentals, also known as PasoStay.com assists guests in creating memories and wonderful experiences by providing quality privately owned vacation home rentals in Paso Robles Wine Country. With over 90 vacation homes to choose from, small enough for a couple’s romantic getaway to large homes amongst local vineyards and olive orchards, PasoStay.com has the perfect option for you. Feel free to call 805-423-9174 to talk with a local expert or book online at PasoStay.com.