How to Elevate Your Park Hangout

Photo: Gia Coppola

Our options for looking and feeling cool are more limited these days. We’re not doing fancy vacations, wild club nights, and lavish dinner parties anymore, and it’s a little weird to dress up for a stoop beer with your neighbor. Many of our social lives have become much leaner — limited to a small handful of safe, socially distanced activities. One of them, at least in New York, is the “park hangout,” wherein you meet some friends at a park, sit six feet away from each other on separate blankets, and get really drunk around 1 p.m.

But how to elevate this activity? How do you keep things feeling fresh, fun, and sophisticated? I have three words for you: Gia Coppola’s wine.

Niece to Sophia and Roman Coppola, Gia Coppola is a filmmaker whose next movie, Mainstream, is set to be released this year. She also took up the family wine business and has a collection under grandfather Francis Ford Coppola’s winery. Her wines come in one-liter jugs with a bottle cap top and a label from her personal photo archive, many of them sentimental.

The “Fat Cat” red wine, her go-to, features a photo she took of Linda Ramone’s cat Rusty: “When I was 16, I used to go over to her and Johnny Ramone’s house after school and pick up Linda and drive her into Beverly Hills … She would tell me stories of all the punk bands she saw and how to dress cool — she thought I wore too much black and my skirts were too long,” Coppola says.

Coppola has recently released two new wines, a collaboration with female winemaker Jordan Costello: an orange wine, which she likes with Japanese rice balls, and a bottled sangria (which I enjoyed over ice with orange slices and cinnamon sticks and Coppola suggests sipping with La Morra Pizzeria.)

“I’m personally always trying to seem MUCH cooler than I actually am — so being able to bring Gia Coppola’s wine to a social gathering feels like I’m going above and beyond,” says the Cut’s senior editor, Kerensa Cadenas (and indeed, when I pulled out a bottle of it at my last park hangout, the mood immediately became more cosmopolitan.) “I ended up keeping the green glass Gia white bottle, where it sits proudly next to my Post Malone rosé bottle,” she adds.

Coppola says the image on the label is of her best friend, Nathalie Love, who starred in her first feature film, Palo Alto: “We’ve been best friends since we were 7 years old. In this photo, we must have been 16. At the time, we were interns at French Vogue in Paris. Nathalie had to model a collection for one of their spreads. We went to Brocéliande in the countryside, a forest known for its magic and where the wizard Merlin is buried.”

So why don’t you skip getting sloshed on spiked seltzer and go for some Gia Coppola wine? It’s $20 a pop, and proceeds from sales this month go to Allies in Arts to support a collection of short films directed by BIPOC womxn and trans and nonbinary artists. Plus, I guarantee you’ll be the coolest person at the next park hangout.

How to Elevate Your Park Hangout