The first official day of summer is five days away. Five days! You guys already know that summer is my soulmate season so I won't go into the 782 reasons why I love it so much. Instead I will just get right to talking about what is probably my favorite summertime activity, and a must for celebrating the first day of the best season of the year: hanging on the deck with friends, enjoying the sunshine. It's simple, it's relaxing, and to me, it defines summertime.
Admittedly, there aren't a lot of summer activities that I don't enjoy - from poolside lounging to evening hikes to dancing under the stars to sitting around a campfire, I'm in heaven just soaking in the season. But putting together some easy summertime snacks and drinks, throwing on some music, and just hanging out on our back deck with my girlfriends or my husband tops them all. It's my happy place, and I can't help but feel grateful for the moment - just being outside, surrounded by our flowers and plants, savoring the beautiful weather, snacking on watermelon and cheese, and sipping on lemonade or my favorite wines.
I decided to have an early 'first day of summer' celebration this past weekend with my husband a couple of friends, which was the perfect excuse for a deck hang session. I sliced some of my favorite light summer cheeses and served with grapes and sesame breadsticks from a local bakery, along with watermelon, tortilla chips and mango peach salsa, lemon water, and Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine and Pino Noir. We just sat around barefoot, listened to music, talked, and toasted to the season. It was pretty great.
The food and beverage spread was as uncomplicated as it gets, but everyone devoured it. (And this is yet another thing I love about summer - simplicity wins, every time!) My husband, who always chooses beer, opted instead for a glass of the Blanc de Noirs and was seriously impressed. With bright strawberry and black cherry aromas and subtle vanilla highlights, its lively bubbles are a perfect companion to summertime foods. And the Pinot Noir (which was the choice of my friend Christine), with its earthy flavor and mature tannins, is an excellent companion to summer cheese.
While we're on the subject of wine - if you're in the market for a really great vino to have on hand this summer, I highly recommend Gloria Ferrer. Described as 'convivial, social, elegant, fun,' the sparkling wines of Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards are a perfect match for any occasion. Exuberant and fruit-forward, their wines are outstanding with an endless variety of cuisine. The winemakers called them "the bottled expressions of the vines, hillsides, fog, wind, and sky of Carneros." I love that! Gloria Ferrer wines have also earned over 400 gold medals and 50 90+ scores in the last 5 years. Pretty amazing.
If you're a fan of summer like I am, make sure you enter the Gloria Ferrer Spring Photo Contest. Just snap a photo of yourself enjoying the season on your deck or in your backyard, at the beach, on vacation, in a hammock, in front of a campfire, or wherever you love to enjoy sparkling wine in the summer, and tag with #GloriousSummer #BeGloriousContest. More details can be found here.
How do you like to celebrate the first days of summer? And what are your favorite summer wines?
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