Written in partnership with Bota Box. What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than with an impromptu backyard happy hour? It’s something we used to do quite a bit, but as my daughter grew older and busier, we let the tradition slide. Now that it’s a prime outdoor entertaining season, though, we have vowed to reverse this.
On the first day of spring, we found ourselves with a hankering to enjoy a golden hour happy hour. It’s one of the best times to be in our backyard as it’s warm but not too bright. And what better time to crack open our first Bota Box, a great eco-friendly and party-friendly wine option.
(Spoiler alert: The 3-liter box of rosé wine not only holds the equivalent of four wine bottles, but it also fits neatly into my handbag.)
Then, it dawned on me that this wine aligns perfectly with how we’ve made it a point to generate less waste when we entertain. To give you an idea, this is what we do.
Sure, having people toss paper plates into a bin can take less time. But, in our experience, it’s not enough of a time saver to warrant using paper every time we have guests over. I prefer to use our myriad of white plates, flatware and cloth napkins. The latter gets tossed into our regular laundry and stored flat straight out of the dryer to avoid wrinkles. To us, it’s worth a little extra effort to avoid less waste.
Make Your Drinks Eco-Friendly
Let’s start with the wine. Not only is Bota Box a certified sustainable winery, their wine is in 100% recyclable packaging. The box is created with 100% post-consumer fiber and printed with VOC-free inks on Kraft unbleached recycled paper. It’s even bonded with cornstarch instead of glue. Bota Box packaging helps reduce the cost of production and transport—savings that is also passed on to the consumer. This also translates to 85% less waste in landfills than traditional glass bottles typically generate.
We like that there’s no worry in not finishing a 3-liter (yes, that’s four bottles of wine) Bota Box as it can simply go back in the fridge. The BPA-free bag inside of the box keeps light and air out, which means it lasts for up to a month. So what’s happening is that we’re actually dumping out less wine and receiving more value.
And, forget bottled water.
Try serving a flavored water, like cucumber water, from a pitcher or carafe. Drop in a sprig or two of mint, a few slices of cucumber, lemon and/or lime or even berries. The sky is the limit, guests love drinking and it really tastes better.
Use Your Existing Potted Plants as Decor
I’d just been to our local nursery so I placed some bright pink ranunculus pots along our outdoor island to add a pop of color. I have succulents in pots (you could also put out some succulent bouquets) that also could have reduced the need to fuss with a cut flower arrangement.
Grab Locally-Sourced Ingredients
What you serve also has an impact on the environment so why not visit a Farmer’s Market or locally-sourced section in a nearby market? The organic multi-colored carrots and dips were a huge hit. The only thing I did was wash and remove the bushy tops. And, I chose some snap peas, colored cauliflower, and easy-to-grab fruit.
I find that high-quality ingredients really don’t need much preparation anyway. We also pretty much always have a simple (or occasionally a really sophisticated one when I have the ingredients) cheese plate, too. Cheese, charcuterie, fresh fruit and vegetables, and wine is our favorite combo. I could eat charcuterie and cheese boards daily.
The upshot to this style of entertaining rather than prepping a full meal is that people can nibble and linger for hours, if they like, without pressure to finish a course or eat when not ready.
I love this photo bomb by my four-legged family member while we waited for the rest of our brood and a few other guests to arrive.
I’m sure he was hoping for someone on the guest list to be a messy eater (he lucked out).
Back to the Wine…
Like I said, this box fits nicely in my mid-sized handbag which means I can take it on the go to picnics, camping, friends’ houses and elsewhere.
And, it’s premium wine. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of rosé lately and I’m telling you it’s very good especially considering how considerate of the environment the company is and what you pay for it. In addition to rosé, Bota Box has a number of other award-winning varietals to choose from.
Stay tuned to see where our next Bota Box adventure will be. Have you tried Bota Box?
* I am thrilled to have been selected as a Bota Box 2017 ambassador. All opinions are my own, of course. Please drink responsibly.