WE DON'T need much of an excuse to drink a glass of wine. If it's a day ending in "y," we can probably be persuaded. But Friday is National Drink Wine Day, according to nationaldrinkwineday.org, so no excuses are needed. There are so many great wines out there — something to fit every taste. But what's the best way to drink them? We explore.

1 Out of a box

Don't discount the value of a box of wine. It's cheaper, it's more environmentally friendly, and it lasts longer once opened than bottled wine. And, contrary to popular opinion, it can be quite good. If you're on a budget, there's no shame in the boxed wine game.

2 In a slushie

It may still be February, but since the temperatures are supposed to hit the 60s this weekend, we could do with a slushie. Wine slushies couldn't be easier to make: Just freeze your favorite wine into ice cubes, then throw them into a blender. Feel free to add in your fruit of choice and a little sugar, too — say, peaches with moscato, or berries with cabernet.

3 Mulled

When the temperatures plunge again next week, you might want a nice, hot way to drink your wine. Throw a couple of bottles of red into a slow cooker with some honey, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and maybe a few orange slices. Let it simmer for a couple of hours, strain and enjoy.

4 In sangria

It's easy enough to make this sweet Spanish drink at home, but if you'd rather have someone else cut up all that fruit for you, there are plenty of places around town that make a great sangria. We recommend the white option at Espana in Benson.

5 With charcuterie

Wine goes with darn near every dish, but there's something about drinking a glass while noshing on a nice meat and cheese plate that makes us feel so much more cosmopolitan. If you're in that state of mind, head downtown to Nosh for a killer charcuterie plate and one of more than 100 wines to choose from.

6 With a great steak

Wine goes with nearly everything, yes, but it goes particularly well with steak. When choosing your wine, Serious Eats says to consider both the amount of fat in your steak and how done it will be. Pair a lean filet mignon with a pinot noir, while a fattier T-bone steak would taste great with a glass of chianti.

7 In the correct glass

While we'll drink our wine out of just about anything, the shape of the glass can definitely make a difference in how the wine tastes. You don't need to invest in a glass for every single type of wine, of course, but if you drink one variety above all others, you may want to investigate that glass. Talk to the people at Brix, at Village Pointe and Midtown Crossing, for the best glass for your preferred wine.

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