pop your cork

7 amazing gay summer experiences made even better by pink vino

Yaaas! The world is starting to open up, especially outdoors just as summer approaches.

That’s worth toasting, right?

Whether you’re planning a picnic date, rediscovering Pride events, or even arranging a small gathering of friends for an alfresco get-together, the folks at acclaimed wine company Laithwaites have a rosé to suit the occasion, and right now Queerty readers get a special offer.

Laithwaites boasts a history as long as Pride, back to the company’s founding in 1969. Its dedicated team tastes thousands of wines each year (Hey, it’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it…).

Here are just a few of the ways to enjoy summer and rosé to the fullest (start by getting the wines delivered) along with summery food pairing ideas.

1. The picnic date

Chances are, you’ve not been out on a proper date in ages. Why not suggest hooking up at an outdoor beauty spot? If you want to make a good impression with your culinary skills, bedazzle them with a rainbow selection of fruit salad or vegetables, accompanied by a slab of protein. Indulging in some outdoor activity to help build up an appetite is entirely at your own … well, discretion.

The wine: Il Sogno di Arianna

Laithwaites wine/flavor profile: Conjuring up ripe citrus and subtle floral notes, this sophisticated rosé comes from Bardolino, near northern Italy’s famous Lake Garda.

Food pairing tips: Smoked salmon, summer salads, grilled/roasted Mediterranean vegetables, creamy pasta dishes, and roasted turkey.

2. The anniversary meal

It’s your anniversary: Going out to grab a pizza or a burger just won’t cut it. Why not make him something really special (or order something amazing to be delivered)? Choose a favorite photo of the two of you and have it printed onto a placemat or coaster to surprise him.

The wine: Domaine du Mas Ensoleillé

Laithwaites wine/flavor profile: This pink love liquid heralds from the Provence region of France. Domaine du Mas Ensoleillé actually translates as “the sunny farm,” with the summer sun baked into each bottle. They harvest the grapes at night to help preserve the flavor. You’ll enjoy hints of red berry, black currant, hints of fresh lemon, orange zest, and passionfruit.

Suggested food pairings: Salmon tartare, grilled shrimp (try a big seafood boil with corn on the cob), or some freshly shucked oysters (hey, it is your anniversary, after all). Not a seafood fan? Go for vegetarian dishes like spinach quiche, pasta primavera, or leafy salads (preferably topped with berries).

3. Impress the in-laws

Visiting the in-laws for the first time? A bottle of wine never goes amiss as a gift! If you’re having them over for dinner, then do check with your partner what sort of dishes are likely to wow them. Don’t allow a meeting with the in-law to phase you, and again, prepping as much of your meal in advance as possible will help minimize stress on the day.

The wine: Domaine Lamargue

Laithwaites wine/flavor profile: This is a lovely rosé from the Camargue area in France: famous for wild white horses roaming the beach (hence the label) – and flamingoes. It’s a must-try for fans of Provence pinks, offering hints of white peach and summer fruit.

Food pairing tips: Laithwaites say this is a terrific match for simple seafood dishes, such as baked tilapia or seared scallops. Also, roasted white meats (chicken or pork) and creamy cheeses.

4. The Netflix and chill

Together or with someone special, a cozy evening at home catching up on some quality entertainment could be the rest and recharge you need. Curl up on the sofa and check out the new Halston series from Ryan Murphy on Netflix, catch up on Drag Race, or sink your teeth into the new HBO Max mystery, Mare of Easttown, with Kate Winslet. Just because you’re having a night in, enjoying your own company, it doesn’t mean you have to skimp on a nice bottle of wine, while a stellar takeaway will cut down on kitchen time.

The wine: Pillastro Rosato

Laithwaites wine/flavor profile: If Italy is a gorgeous “boot,” then Puglia is its alluring stiletto heel. This full-flavored rosé is made by Angelo Maci whose Cantine due Palma has been voted southern Italy’s ‘Winery of the Year’ an impressive three times by judges at Vinitaly.

Food pairing tips: Chipotle-rubbed beef ribs, Asian dishes like chicken curry, or Pad Thai. For a classic Italian pairing that you can make at home, try shrimp Fra Diavolo or sausage tossed with fresh garlic, olive oil and penne.

5. The celebratory brunch

Whether it’s a birthday, job promotion, or another landmark, some occasions demand you put in a little bit more effort and add a bit of fizz. Champagne is traditional, but why not be original and go with a prideful pink Prosecco? If inviting friends over, ensure a good mix of dishes they can choose from, and create an appropriate playlist, starting with Nas and Gaga, of course, to get people in the mood.

The wine: Alessandro Gallici Prosecco Rosato

Laithwaites wine/flavor profile: Ever had a pink Prosecco before? This one is from Italy, but get it while you can as insiders are predicting a shortage due to a small harvest of the necessary Pinot Noir grapes. Offering hints of fresh peach and raspberry among its bubbles, it’s sure to elicit some “oohs” and “aahs” (and not only because of its distinctive bottle).

Food pairing tips: Light salads, seafood dishes (smoked salmon and caviar, anyone?), fresh berry-and-cream desserts.

6. The meet-his-friends dinner

This is one occasion when you don’t want to stick to your boyfriend’s side like a limpet or bombard his pals with constant displays of PDA. Ask them questions and pay attention to their answers (like, duh?). If you’ve got a garden or yard, move the chairs outdoors and hang some decor or lights. Games are a good ice-breaker, but try to avoid it turning into The Boys In The Band. Prepare something cool, casual but delicious, to ensure they’ll be looking forward to hanging out some more.

The wine: Fleur du Mistral

Laithwaites wine/flavor profile: A French, Grenache-based offering named after the famous Mistral wind, which blows through southern France’s vineyards and keeps vines cool. It will conjure up vibrant strawberry and red apple with subtle herb notes.

Food pairing tips: Grilled shrimp, grilled or roasted veggies, or a simple chicken salad to accompany this flowery French blend.

7. The beach barbecue

Beaches are a great location for a barbecue, not to mention … um, man-watching. That’s provided you get a decent, portable barbecue grill and you choose a location that permits it. As amenities will be limited, make sure you prep as much as possible at home and be prepared to clean up thoroughly afterward. Oh, and maybe don’t grill in your skimpiest pair of speedos!

The wine: Moulin de Pontfract

Laithwaites wine/flavor profile: This crisp, citrus rosé offers hints of red berries and grapefruit. It heralds from the Domaine de Pontefract winery in southeastern France, which has a pedigree stretching back 75 years. It’s in an area packed with other wineries – despite splitting, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie still own the neighboring Chateau Miraval.

Food pairing tips: Perfect with grilled chicken kebabs, grilled salmon, grilled lemon-pepper chicken – all great, protein-packed options great for a barbecue.

Feeling inspired?  All of these wines are available now at a specially discounted price with the Laithwaites introductory offer.  Members can even join online wine tasting events and take advantage of future, VIP offers.

Enjoy a special Queerty discount compliments of Laithwaites