Salads, quiche, antipasti, a rug and sunshine – it’s picnic season! Time to dine alfresco, enjoy the warmer weather with a picnic and a glass of wine. Here are a few wine related essentials that will make their way into my picnic basket in the coming weeks.
My white wine pick is Pinot Gris from New Zealand. I love Pinot Gris! Unlike New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris is soft and round on the palate. The ripe Pinot Gris is aromatic with a floral, white peach, stone fruit nose. It’s slightly spicy with honeysuckle and white pepper on the palate. Its aromatic character suggests a sweet wine, but this is beautifully dry with a luscious ripeness and balanced acidity. It’s also quite forgiving when not served straight from the fridge and has a screw cap closure making it perfect for picnicking.
My red wine picnic essential is Bardolino, an Italian red wine that can be popped into a cooler and served slightly chilled. Young, low tannin reds are refreshing in warm weather and delicious with picnic style foods. Bardolino DOC, from the vineyards near Lake Garda in Northern Italy is a blend of grapes, primarily Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. This is a classic lunchtime wine in Italy as it is light, fruity and pairs beautifully with dishes like bruschetta and antipasti.
In addition to my wine selection, I often pack a small container of frozen grapes. Grapes are a great alternative to ice cubes when chilling a drink! The grapes cool the wine without diluting the flavour or character of the wine the way melting ice will.
You will also find wine glass picnic sticks in my basket! These handy little glass holders prevent accidental spillages and add an air of sophistication to your lunch.
National Picnic Week is 19th-27th June. Please remember to always take your rubbish home and drink responsibly.
My suggestions, subject to availability: Waimea Estate Pinot Gris, Nelson, New Zealand available in Majestic.
Bardonlino, Veneto, Italy available in Tesco, Waitrose, Majestic.