Packing the Perfect Summer Picnic: Napa Valley Winery Edition
What if your next tasting adventure included the perfect picnic? Let’s imagine for a moment. You, your wine glass, and a picnic basket overflowing with little bites that perfectly pair with every wine in your flight. What’s that, you say? You’re not a food and wine expert? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Relax, grab your favorite wicker basket, and get ready for the best summer wine tasting experience yet. We can almost hear the birds chirping in the trees.
There are many wineries that give guests the option to take their flight outside and enjoy scenic views of the vineyard, especially here in Napa Valley. Places like Napa Cellars and Rutherford Hill Winery invite you to bring your picnic blanket and spread out on the lawns. Others, such as V. Sattui Winery and Ledson Winery, provide guests with the option to throw together a DIY picnic right in their tasting rooms. The marketplaces are stuffed with gourmet cheeses, smoked meats, and some personalized creations just in case you didn’t have time to run to your local grocery store.
Whether you choose to purchase food items in the tasting room, or at your local store, here is what you should be on the lookout for to build the most epic summer basket possible.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. CHEESE. So many to choose from. Gouda, manchego, burrata, mozzarella, parmesan, chèvre… are you drooling yet? Make sure you throw a few into your basket, you know, just for good measure. The best pairings go like this. Aged gouda with its nutty flavor pairs perfectly with a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Brie pairs well with a light-bodied Pinot Noir, which complements its earthy tones. Finally, pack a little chèvre to pair with that Napa Sauvignon Blanc. The sweet flavor will complement the tangy characteristics of the chevre, making you feel like you’ve tasted heaven.
Next, it’s fresh fruit. Peaches and strawberries, to be exact. These two work great with red and white wines alike so you can enjoy with the whole flight. YUM.
Pro Tip: Toss some honey in your bag to drizzle over peach and goat cheese. Boom. You are practically a master chef.
Let’s explore meats. Prosciutto is our go-to because its thin slice, silky texture, and salty flavor wakes up the senses. Eating this with that mozzarella in your basket transports you to Italy immediately. We’re not kidding. And, guess what else? It pairs well with white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio as well as some bubbly if you’ve got sparkling wine in your flight. If you are a veggie fanatic, grab some snap peas, celery, and green beans. We promise these will pair just as great. Get ready, because it’s time for the carbs. If you have a moment before leaving, slice up some bread, sprinkle a little olive oil on both sides, and pop it in the oven. Toasting the bread will give the crunch that you deserve with all these smooth textures. If time is not on your side, don’t worry! Crackers work great too. Try picking up either a sweet potato multigrain or a flatbread cracker.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to throw in the finishing touches. Green Spanish olives, roasted almonds, figs, and dark chocolate are some personal favorites to picnic with and especially with a glass of red wine in-hand. If you want to expand your veggie profile, throw in some raw zucchini and purple baby carrots. There you have it! Get out there and get picnicking, and always remember to try different combinations with the treats in your basket. You never know what your new favorite snack might be.
Did you find some amazing wines that you want to take home? Of course, you did, it’s Napa Valley. Here’s the scoop, FlyWithWine will keep your wine bottles traveling safe and sound. There’s even a special summer insert so those wines stay nice and cool. Bonus? The suitcase is super stylish. Seriously.