Wine On The Go
If you can drink whisky (or other spirits) out of a hip flask while on the go, surely the same could be said about wine, right? A shiny, winter warmer tucked into a coat pocket is a celebrated thing – but where spirits are given licence to roam, wine doesn’t usually have the same transportability. Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally enjoy a few shots of rum while out and about on a winter walk, but the number of times I long for a cool, refreshing sip of vino – especially with summer fast approaching – is much higher.
I scoured the cupboards in search of a vessel that’ll get the job done. I discounted the hip flask because it’s far too small and won’t keep my wine cool. A sports bottle has too much juxtaposition for me, so that’s out. Finally, in the back of the cupboard next to an array of unused kitchen gadgets (AKA. George Forman Grill from 2001), I found the hero of the piece – the mighty, mighty Thermos.
Why the Thermos?
Well, if it’s wine outside, it’s got to be chilled, right? And what better option is there than a trusty, old Thermos? In preparation, pop your bottle into the fridge, wait for it to cool, and decant into the Thermos (clean any soup out first). I’m reliably informed that this will stay cool for 12 hours, which is more than enough time because you’ll be drinking it in two.
The inside of a Thermos isn’t porous, so it won’t react with the wine. You’ll retain all the goodness of your vino without any unnecessary oxidation. The steal in a hip flask is why they’re not great for low alcohol spirits, as they have a reactive nature, and anything plastic will also bring an unwelcome tasting note to any bottle.
Finally, size matters. As long as your Thermos has 750ml of space, you’re good for a whole bottle of wine, and it comes with a cup, so you can even swirl.
What wine is Thermos Safe?
Let’s begin by stating the obvious. Don’t put fizz in a Thermos. You don’t want to shake up the bubbles again after popping, especially in a vacuum sealed glass case. Do not try this at home. Or outside. Just no.
Red wine is perfectly Thermos safe, if a little less pleasing when you don’t get that cooled, refreshing crispness from a wine more suited to the cold. If red is your favourite, then a chilled Pinot Noir might well be the winner. The Distant Noises is a particularly great example, and chills as well as any white wine will.
Rosé and white are your best options. They’re making the most of the cooling power, and when paired up with a relaxing jaunt in the park, they’re just right. My personal favourite is the Durnberg Blanc de Noir, a cheekily refreshing bottle that’s all raspberry and red apple. Chill it down to 10 degrees and let the warm weather do the rest.
Now this is the challenge. When you sip from a hip flask it looks effortlessly cool, but what about the Thermos? Is this where the plan unravels?
I think it’s important first to address sipping directly from the Thermos. Wine usually wouldn’t be drunk directly from a bottle but if you don’t feel like lugging along a plastic glass, we won’t hold it against you.
You can, if pressed for time or space in your bag, use the cup that’s also the lid. It’s plastic, but it’s well sized for a standard glass of wine – so that’s a plus. The lack of bowl shape may scupper your wine drinking experience, but if you’re having rosé, the fruit should sing from the vino and you’re all good.
Better still, if you’re looking to go somewhat ‘upmarket’ with your outdoor wine enjoyment, there is always the plastic wine glass. Most supermarkets have got you covered here in the form of the stackable wine glass that comes in two parts. Plug the base into the stem and pour. You can even hold your glass by said stem and keep your wine at temperature just a little longer.
It won't fit in your pocket and you’re unlikely to get it as an engraved gift for you 21st birthday, but when you’re looking for a way to enjoy a bottle, chilled and ready to drink, the lowly Thermos is by no means an enemy of wine. So, as you head out to meet that one friend you’ve been missing so much, pack your Thermos and toast the real start of 2021.