New packaging offers wine to go for picnic season

Enjoying good wine in the great outdoors is fun, but toting glass bottles on the trail is no picnic.

Enter the new crop of alternatively packaged wines in cartons, cans and other trail-ready options.

MICHELLE LOCKE
The Associated Press
Modified: June 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm •  Published: June 11, 2012
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Enjoying good wine in the great outdoors is fun, but toting glass bottles on the trail is no picnic.

Enter the new crop of alternatively packaged wines in cartons, cans and other trail-ready options.

Sure, for actual hydration you'll want to tote along water or whatever energy drink you favor. But for that moment when the hike is done, the mountain bike path conquered, or you're just relaxing and grilling a few steaks on a lazy Sunday, these wines make it easy to blend libations with explorations.

As Brad Day, a wine lover and outdoorsman who runs the outdoor activities website WeekendSherpa.com puts it, "It adds a nice element to sitting back and enjoying the natural surroundings."

So here are some wines that make good traveling partners.

— PACK A POUCH

The Climber is billed as "all-terrain wine transport," and it is. Available in chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon, this wine comes in a foil pouch with a hole punched at the top so it can be clipped to a backpack with a carabiner hook.

It shouldn't come as a big surprise that The Climber comes from Clif Family Winery founded by Gary Erickson and wife Kit Crawford, the people behind the Clif energy bar. The Climber is widely available and also can be found at the Clif winery tasting room Vela Vino in St. Helena, a popular spot with bicyclists.

The pouch holds the equivalent of two regular bottles and has a suggested retail of $17, so the wine is light on your wallet as well as your pack.

The winery works with the group 1 Percent for the Planet, and 1 percent of Climber sales go to charity, in this case a partnership with Trees for the Future. What to pair with it? Gorp is good, or if you want to go a little more upscale you might try the Smoked Paprika Almonds from the Gary & Kit's Napa Valley line of snacks.