Top 6 Deck Features for Wine Lovers in the Finger Lakes Region

If you live in the Finger Lakes, NY, region and love wine, there’s no better way to share that joy with friends than from the comfort of your deck!

At Keystone Custom Decks, we believe that creating your perfect deck should be a headache-free process. But sometimes, it’s hard to know what features you should even invest in.

Don’t worry⁠—we’re here to help! In this blog, we’ll go over the top six must-have deck features for wine lovers in the Finger Lakes region and some tips on how to host the perfect wine-tasting party.

Table of Contents

  • Top 6 Must-Have Deck Features
    Top 6 Must-Have Deck Features
  • Bonus_ How to Host the Perfect Wine-Tasting Party
    Bonus: How to Host the Perfect Wine-Tasting Party
  • How Keystone Custom Decks Can Help
    How Keystone Custom Decks Can Help

Top 6 Must-Have Deck Features

Imagine gathering on a wide deck with friends, sipping wine, and watching the sunset over a pristine lake. Joy, laughter, delicious wine, and great company⁠—what could be better?

Maybe we should ask, “What could go wrong in this scenario?” Because, despite your best intentions, things might not go as planned. Guests might be too warm or too cold, you might run out of space or seating, or your deck might be an inconvenient distance from your kitchen, making hosting a pain.

To ensure the best hosting and wine-tasting experience possible, here are the top six features you should consider as you build, remodel, or reconfigure your deck.

Scenic Views

The view is the decor and backdrop of every event you host on your deck, and you should strive to build your deck in a place with the best view possible. 

In some cases, that may include building an elevated deck, removing trees or shrubs obstructing the view, or investing in high-quality landscaping if your backyard is the main view from your deck.

Stylish and Comfortable Furniture

Enough with shabby, mismatched chairs⁠—elegant events call for elegant furniture.

Choose your outdoor furniture wisely: Besides being beautiful, it should be hardy, high-quality, and comfortable. Always sit on your furniture before buying it because you’ll never be excited to use your deck if the furniture is painful to sit on!

Finally, make sure the style and amount of furniture are sufficient for the types of events you hope to host. 

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Outdoor Wine Bar

A customized personal wine bar is one feature that will instantly elevate a wine lover’s deck.

Create a space dedicated to your wine with a bar counter and bar stools, storage for glassware, and a wine cooler for storing wines. That way, whether you’re relaxing with your spouse, having an impromptu chat with friends, or hosting an event, the wine you need is always handy and available!

Outdoor Kitchen

Although wine may be the focal point when you choose to entertain, you usually want to serve food also. Whether it’s appetizers or a full meal, there’s nothing more convenient than an outdoor kitchen.

Your outdoor kitchen should include a wine bar, as highlighted above, as well as a sink, counter space, a grill, and other appliances such as a stovetop or refrigerator. You can make it as simple or complex as you need it to be.

The most important consideration is to think through the events you’ll host on your deck and ensure your outdoor kitchen is up to the task.

(To learn more, read our Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Kitchens!)

Shade Structures

One unique thing about the Finger Lakes region is that all four seasons are experienced here. Since each season has a unique beauty, you should put deck features in place to help foster outdoor enjoyment all year long.

One of the best ways to do this is with shade structures. A partial roof, canopy, or pergola can offer much-needed summertime shade or even shelter from a rainstorm if needed.

Want to know more? Read our blog post about deck shade.

Fire Pit or Outdoor Fireplace

While a nice pergola provides dappled shade in the summertime, it doesn’t do much to add comfort in the wintertime.

That’s where fire pits and outdoor fireplaces come in.

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces provide a place of beauty and warmth on chilly autumn evenings or even winter afternoons. They can be made in various styles, so you can always find something that matches your aesthetic. 

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Other Deck Considerations

Although picking the right features is vital, there are a few other practical considerations to consider as you construct your deck. Those are:

  • Will that area get good sun?
  • Is that area sheltered from the wind? 
  • Is there enough space on your deck to accommodate the types of gatherings you’d love to host?

These little things matter so much when it comes to getting the most out of your deck!

Bonus: How to Host the Perfect Wine-Tasting Party

Once you have the deck of your dreams, it’s time to host some events.

Here are a few tips for hosting the perfect wine-tasting party on your deck!

Choose the right menu 

It’s essential to carefully choose the right food and wine pairings. Foods with certain textures and flavors complement certain wines. For example, fatty cheese or meat can help balance and soften the impact of tannin in red wine.

If you want some ideas, visit a local winery and ask what types of food they recommend to pair with various wines.

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Choose the right layout

What does your dream gathering look like? Do you envision hosting a large group, or do you prefer smaller, more intimate events? Should guests mingle and try different things or gather in one area for specifically curated wine and food pairings?

Your layout should reflect the type of party you want to host. If you want guests to mingle and form small, intimate conversations, use outdoor furniture to arrange different “conversation zones” in comfortable areas like around a fire pit or under a pergola. Set up several food and drink stations and provide plenty of side tables for people to set down drinks. 

Or, if you prefer a more curated experience, set up one dedicated tasting zone where it’s clear what appetizers correspond with what wines.

If you’re hosting a small, intimate gathering where you’re handling most of the food, center the activity around the outdoor kitchen. On the other hand, if you’re hiring caterers, the food and wine tables should be separate from the kitchen area, with plenty of space for the event staff to do their job. 

Choose the right decor and ambiance

To create a great ambiance for your wine-tasting party, play soft music with an outdoor sound system or Bluetooth speakers. Test the system ahead of time and adjust as needed during the party. The sound should create a pleasant atmosphere without drowning out conversation.

If your party lasts until after dark, make sure you have the correct mood lighting! You can achieve this using built-in deck lighting options or by hanging up string lights or lanterns. 

How Keystone Custom Decks Can Help

Here at Keystone Custom Decks, we know that you have a specific vision for bringing people together with beautiful events on your deck. That’s why we’re committed to working with you to create the perfect deck to realize your vision.

If you’d like even more inspiration for creating your ideal deck, read about the latest deck trends here!

Although our passion is building custom decks, we also make a variety of other outdoor features, including:

Whatever your dream outdoor living space looks like, Keystone can help you accomplish it!

Contact us today if you would like to have a meaningful conversation about your vision.