Picking picnic vino

Soaring temperatures recently drove me to head for the hills—literally (The Resort on Mount Charleston and Montage Deer Valley, Park City, Utah). What better time for a picnic? But picnics require picnic wines, which are ideally somewhat light, refreshing and go with just about anything you might throw in your basket or backpack. If I have the space, I’ll pack a 750-milliliter of a citrusy sauvignon blanc such as that by Kim Crawford, Icon by Nobilo. The crisply acidic, fruity, often effervescent young Portuguese white varieties of vinho verde (literally “green wine”) work remarkably well with sandwiches, salads or a spread of olives, cold meats and cheeses. Best of all, they usually cost less than $10 and often have a screw cap. When packing lighter is key, a few splits of cava (think Freixenet), mini Tetra Paks of Bandit (BanditWines.com), or a half-bottle of a dry rosé, such as the fragrant Valetti chiaretto classico I brought home from Bardolino, Italy, that accompanied me up Mount Charleston to a scenic cliff-side picnic. Just remember the Golden Rule: Whatsoever ye packeth in, so shall ye packeth out.

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Frozen Hot Chocolate at Dunkin’ Donuts

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Frozen Hot Chocolate at Dunkin’ Donuts

After securing their grip on the East Coast with an unrivaled coffee following, Dunkin’ Donuts set out to conquer the Wild West, and thus far they’ve done a damned good job. Las Vegas, however, is hot, so menu adjustments had to be made. That’s where DD’s Frozen Hot Chocolate comes into play. It’s their rich and creamy hot chocolate chilled and blended with ice to create a cooling chocolaty treat. Non-chocolate-lovers need not apply; the rest of us may rejoice that our favorite winter beverage has found summer employment.