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Wine Education

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Have Wine, Will Travel

Nowadays, you don't have to worry about breakage and temperature gyrations. Useful wine accessories and containers have come a long way since the day when Dad threw a bottle of straw-wrapped Chianti into the picnic basket.

Guy Stout, a master sommelier, travels often as the director of beverage education for a major wine distributor. "Being a frequent traveler, I absolutely love the screw caps from New Zealand and California producers. More countries and wineries are going for the screw cap, and I think it's great. With the increasing quality of wine available in screw-cap bottles, it just makes sense."

"Box wines can be fun as well if you are by the pool or rafting on a river where glass is discouraged and you want to be a good citizen," says Stout. "I can hear my wine friends cringe when I say 'box wine.' Get over it! This is not the same wine we saw in the 1970s and '80s. It's really decent stuff. Is it outstanding? No, but it's a good drink and won't cost you the Napa Valley Cabernet price either."

Mark Roberts, owner of a wine consulting firm, likes to use a two-bottle wine carrier for taking along a bottle of wine. Such wine bags and caddies are available in many materials, including leather, metal, hard plastic and soft-sided vinyl.

"Watching a play in the park usually means the carrier is by our side. I use one side for the wine and the other side to carry two 5-ounce wine glasses. Another handy invention is the Steady Sticks. These are stainless steel wine glass holders -- they're shaped a bit like shepherd's hooks -- that can be pushed into the ground at blanket side and hold any stemmed wine glass or Champagne flute upright."

Another tip from Roberts: "We all know the neoprene beer-can koozies, right? Next time you do some garage-sale shopping, keep your eye out for these. Cut out the bottom of a couple of koozies and pull them over your pre-chilled wine bottle." That way you'll have time to get to your picnic or outdoor destination and your wine will still be at the perfect serving temperature.

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Publix promotes responsible drinking and supports efforts to fight alcohol abuse and underage drinking. Please visit The Century Council at for more information.