Wherever you live, we hope you’ll load up a basket with delicious bites and find a scenic place to enjoy them. Here’s our guide to picnic pairings.
If you’re having potato salad, try: sauvignon blanc
The interplay of creaminess and sour zest in potato salad can pose a challenge to some wines. With the tangy flavors of mayonnaise, pickles, and vinegar, you need a wine that has a lot of acidity. Sauvignon blanc will meet your needs, and if you’ve got fresh herbs in your potato salad, the bright grassy tones in the wine will compliment nicely. One thing to keep in mind: if you want your wine to stand out, you can tone down the loud flavors that might drown it out–consider easing off the mustard, using less vinegar, or a sweeter vinegar like balsamic, for instance.
If you’re having charcuterie, try: rosé
The fat and salt content in cured meats begs for something refreshing and palate-cleansing in between bites. A dry, Provence-style rosé served cold will hit the spot, with its high acidity, delicate melon and berry flavors, and relatively low alcohol content.
If you’re having assorted cheeses, try: sparkling wine
This pairing works for many of the same reasons charcuterie and rose pair well; rich, salty food tastes best when you refresh your palate with something lean and crisp. If you’re drinking a dry, bubbly wine made in the traditional method (a la Champagne), you’ll enjoy a medium cheese with nutty, toasty flavors. Also good are melty, double- and triple-cream cheeses.
If you’re having a sandwich with roasted meat, try: zinfandel
The savory flavors and weight of roasted chicken, pork, or beef, will complement a medium-bodied zinfandel. The ripe, jammy flavors and subtle chocolate notes in the wine will even stand up to a barbeque sauce with a bit of sweetness, or a bit of smoky heat.
If you’re having fruit salad, try: something semi-sweet
Sweet food will make dry wine taste bitter and dull. Wine with a sweetness level that matches the fruit will bring out the complementary flavors in both food and drink. A late-harvest viognier has bold floral aroma and flavors of ripe tropical and stone fruits–a perfect finish to your picnic.