Good Picnic Wines: As Easy to Find as Flowers are to Pick from Your Neighbors Yard When She's Sleeping (and not because you gave her a light sedative)
The most important thing to remember when picking yourslef out a picnic wine is that anything will work. Really, anything. It's a picnic. Stress should only be involved if hornets attack the lunchmeat. The above pictures are a case in point. I say drink whatever the invitees bring, preferably out of plastic cups.
However, if you are the one buying the wine (for example, if your invitees are in charge of the ice-cream cake), my motto for choosing a picnic wine is that the simplier, lighter, the perkier the wine, the better. The point of the event is the fresh air, the fresh, enjoyable food, the company, and,... sitting on or very very near grass. The wine should be pleasent, fun wine. Something that doesn't take you away from the company or the grass because you can't figure out what that frieken smell is the plastic cup. In other words, the wine shouldn't scream out for a decanter.
My wedding, pictured in the recent post, was an outdoors reception. The menu was all picnic- yummy sandwhiches from our local top-notch deli, Greek potato salad, fresh salad greens with a balsamic vinegarette, cherries and strawberries and cheese plates. All of this food lovliness can be viewed on the lastest post, in picture two. The wine that we served was just as light and fresh as the food. We served Verasol for the red (pictured in the lastest post, first picture)- an inexpensive, light Spanish Grenache that gave off dark fruit and stoney aromas. The white was Domaine de Pellehaut (not pictured)- a French wine from the Gascony region made of Ugni Blanc and Colombard . Smelled like pear and flowers. Our sparkling was a Cremant d'Alasce- the pictured sparkling on this post. But I'm all for anything. I might consider an un-oaky chardonnay, like the LaLande, the last picture in the previous post. Or a pinot noir. And definitely, I'd serve beer, like we did at our wedding.
By the way, my definition of a picnic is very basic. Nice sandwhiches, a potato salad, fruit. Maybe even cold barbequed chicken and a little cheese. Don't get caught up on the idea that the cheese and the wine must match. They musn't. Not for a picnic, because, as I mentioned before, the point of a picnic is not the matching perfection of the wine and the food. It's the company, the fresh air. If the wine and cheese don't match pefectly, finish eating the cheese, have a bite of potato salad, and then the take a sip of the wine.
Summer doesn't last forever, so relax and indulge in the incrediable seasonal oppurtunity to drink wine from plastic cups.
Note: All photos were taken by photographer Thomas Hopkins