Dining al fresco with fatcork

The season of sunshine is upon us, and each day of good weather is a chance to be out with friends and family. A mellow patch of grass, a sun-weathered dock, or a shady spot amongst a grove of trees can be a magical place for building memories while dining al fresco. Throw in a table cloth, picnic blanket, and a sturdy basket of treats and you’re all set. Here are some fatcork tips and offerings that can make these moments transcend from ordinary to extraordinary.

Picnic in the Park

A meal taken outdoors and shared with the ones you love—a simple concept that is easy to pull together. All you really need is little grass, some nature, and maybe some soft tunes. Blooming flowers, swaying foliage or a water element nearby will surely kick it up a notch. We suggest a perfect spot half in the shade and half in the sun. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right—because location does matter. 

Pair this scenic occasion with the Didier Ducos L’Ablutien or the half bottle version for two—a wonderful crisp, bready cuvée that tastes like a burst of sunshine. These bubbles will go with all sorts of outdoor spreads. Pop this bottle open and pour into mason jars as you reach across a selection of crudité and dips, a bowl of cherries, a rotisserie chicken, and don’t forget to take turns ripping pieces of fresh baguette with your hands. Maybe some fresh fruit, dried figs, or butter with a little blue cheese and a dollop of dijon, if you’re a bon viveur like us.  

Music Pairing: Bloom by the Paper Kites

Backyard Brunch

A backyard with a sturdy UV umbrella, or a covered deck is the perfect place for Brunch en plein air. If it’s a cooler morning, gather around the firepit. For those without a backyard, get to a park early or borrow a friend’s backyard. If you bring the bubbles, it’s hard for them to say no! Prep everything the night before so you can set it and forget it. Arrange a bouquet of fresh flowers to elevate the tablescape. Laying out your spread—platters of flaky pastries, cheeses, and fresh fruit is  a great, casual way to have a feast where people can graze, schmooze, and connect. The only dangerous thing about brunch is that it can easily turn into an all-day affair where bottles of bubbles tumble into glasses all day long. 

The Pascal Redon Rosé is wonderfully inviting for Sunday funday. Strawberries, vanilla, and fresh florals pair perfectly with deep, hearty laughter and pastries with jam and custard centers. Friends, food, and fizz is what we live for, so gather your people and let the good times roll!

Music Pairing: Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Rondstadt “Wildflowers”

Seaside Soirée

Not everyone has access to our beautiful coasts. Lakeside or man-made beaches are beautiful too! Whether it’s vacation or you are lucky enough to have it in your own backyard or neighborhood—everyone can agree that moments by the shore on those endless summer nights are irreplaceable. There's nothing quite like the sensation you feel while gulping down salty sea air as the waves crash around you. Creation, at its most raw, pulls you in each time the waves retract and rush forward. These are the moments to commemorate with a bottle of bubbles, arms wrapped around each other, and splashing around in earth’s biggest puddle.

Some sandwiches, raw or grilled oysters, or even a lobster roll are drool-inducing provisions. A perfect match for an oyster afternoon is the light, crisp, and refreshing, Etienne Calsac L'échappée Belle. Enjoy the serene sounds of the waterfront with its minerality and subtle hint of pear, as you match its crystal clarity with the ocean views ahead. 

The shore is a place where time seems to stop. Celebrating pauses like this can be cozy too. When the evening pulls the sun down, snuggle up and stargaze or watch fireworks. Rules permitting, nestle together around a warm fire, sliding warm marshmallows off sticks between clamshells of graham crackers and dark chocolate. Cool down your palate with dark berry notes of the Piollot Les Protelles Rosé de Saignée.  

Music Pairing: D’Angelo “Cruisin"

Waterside BBQ

Lake or poolside barbecues might be the easiest to come by. Any outdoor space near water and a grill is the golden way to gather friends and break out the bubbly. The water provides a relief from the summer heat, and the nostalgic smell of barbecue creates a wonderful atmosphere. Park your damp bum on a fresh towel that still smells of sunblock, and grab a plate. Feast on hot dogs, burgers, grilled peaches with ricotta and basil, and fresh corn and tomato salad. Stock the cooler with a fruity yet savory bottle or two of Elise Dechannes Rosé de Saignée to taste summer harvest in a glass. Earthy notes with bright bursts of strawberry goes great with anything you can throw on the grill. It’s a great pairing that everyone can enjoy. 

Musical Pairing: The Sundays “Summertime”

City Living Gatherings

An underrated, yet favorite fatcork outdoor nook for dwelling and kvetching is any accessible slice we can call our own; an alleyway, balcony, rooftop, or stoop. People watching, telling inside jokes, nothing beats forgetting about work and responsibilities like sitting outdoors steps away from home. 

Catching up with friends doesn’t have to be extravagant. It’s the company that matters, and the best of times are spontaneous drop bys that bleed into all night bubbles and late night pizza—Moments that we want to last as long as possible. You don’t even need snacks, just open up a few bottles to pass around and laugh until your cheeks hurt. We suggest the Mathieu-Gandon Esprit Brut for such occurrences. It’s crisp effervescence and sparkling minerality is an all around crowd pleaser. And no matter what, we always recommend having a bottle of bubbles chilled and ready to go to celebrate any and all occasions. 

Music Pairing: The Five Stairsteps “Ooh Child”

As with all celebrations, it’s all about being with the ones you love. We wish you many moments of happiness, discovery, and good old-fashioned fun!

Cheers,

Team fatcork

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