I love outdoor music nights in Milwaukee (check out the full list of them here) and am always looking for wine, glasses or things to make them even better. Of course, some nights call for a beer, and not all the best brews have twist-off caps. Some nights, I need munchies to go with my drink, and what pairs better with wine than cheese and a baguette?
There are all kinds of specialty gadgets perfect for summer evening entertainment. Here are just a few of my favorites!
Drink it: Story Hill BKC growler
I've written about my love for growlers before, and now I love a new one that I just picked up from Story Hill BKC – you may, too. Story Hill BKC provides a variety of options for your growler needs – you may as well as try them all!
Use them: Picnic Stix Set
Summer is right around the corner, and I'm itching already for it to be here. The Picnic Stix Set is perfect for Jazz in the Park, picnics, the beach and more! These are best used at a level closer to the ground, so when you are using a blanket or mats outside these are just the right height. You may have to be a little careful about getting sand in them at the beach, but better than you just stuffing your drink in the sand.
Open with it: Milwaukee bottle opener
I love a functional item in my kitchen or house that also serves as a talking piece. This "Milwaukee map opener" is one of them – and perfect for park music nights! The handmade item includes a vintage mini-map of Milwaukee and is a great gift for hosts, friends or maybe your groomsmen in a wedding party. If you are looking for a lady "ish" gift you could go the route of their bottle stopper.
Won't break it: GoVino Wine Glasses
I have a serious problem with breaking glasses. I'd like to think this is just a fleeting issue in my life, but somehow I doubt it. GoVino shatterproof glasses are my savior. What makes these glasses different is that they are flexible, unbreakable and notched so I don't drop them as easily. They also have a set of beer glasses, which may be a great idea for a man in your life with a chronic dropping problem too, just in time for Father's Day. BONUS? Local product!
Drink it: Domaine Spiropoulos Mantinia
This organically grown Greek wine is one of my summer favorites after I was able to try the 2012 at Braise. The wine itself is a greenish yellow and has a very delicate floral taste that isn't overly sweet on the palate, thankfully. The acidity of the citrus flavors as well as the mineral balance out the dry wine nicely. I liked this wine so much I've even been known to ask other restaurants what they have that's similar.
Cut on it: Wisconsin Cutting and Serving Board
This Wisconsin shaped cutting board is sure to show off your "sconnie" pride. The multi-functional board could be your cutting board, your cheese board, your bar board ... you get the picture. And, you can order them in a number of shape sizes for gifts.
Ride with it: Bicycle Wine Rack
After packing all the goodies in a backpack to bring down to Jazz in the Park (shh don't tell anyone,) you realize just how much additional weight you are adding by bringing wine. Let's be realistic, one bottle doesn't cut it when looking out at that gorgeous view and listening to great music. One way to lighten the load is the handy dandy Bicycle Wine Rack from Fyxation in Riverwest.
This leather bicycle wine rack is perfect for taking wine with you on the go. It attaches to most bike frames with antique brass fasteners, while there are hidden clamps hold the bottle securely. You have to protect your investment after all.
What else? She's a wine lover, closet trashy novel reader, beauty supplies addict and devourer of cheese (shocker for a Wisconsin born and bred girl, right?). She's also a bit of a foodie, which is a word most of you hate, we know. So, you've probably seen her at one of the area's newest restaurant openings (and yes, she will share her opinions good or bad) or enjoying her newfound love, the Dark and Stormy, at a local pub.
All in all, Carolynn's a believer in positive thinking and will do her best to smack down your negative ones while writing about her city, her loves, quests and more.