A pleasant way to spend a beautiful day is taking time to plan a trip to a winery. Pack up your favorite portable food, call up the people you love the most and take them to the gorgeous location of a vineyard to enjoy the scenery. There are many lovely locations to enjoy the day when the weather is on your side,. For example a picnic at the beach provides the ocean, lake or boardwalk for recreation; a picnic at a summertime concert has built in musical entertainment; and a kite flying picnic lets you work off those treats you've packed in your picnic basket!
But, have you ever tried bringing your picnic to a local winery? The scenery is beautiful and many wineries now provide outdoor or even indoor picnic facilities to encourage visitors. You can buy your beverages on site, after sampling what they have for sale. Many wineries now offer springtime and harvest events with wine tastings accompanied by musical entertainment throughout the day. Whether you're looking for a great summertime event to enjoy with a group of adult friends, or just that special someone, make a date for a picnic at the winery.
Preparing for Your Picnic
The first thing you'll want to do is contact your chosen winery to confirm that they either have picnic tables, or permit you to bring a picnic blanket to create your own picnic location on their property.
Decide who will be the designated driver to drive the group home safely after several hours of wine tasting and picnicking.
Remember to pack your food with enough ice to keep it at a safe temperature until you're ready to eat.
Pack your picnic basket with the following supplies. These will include:
- a picnic blanket if tables are not available
- wine glasses
- other beverage glasses
- cutting board and knife
- hand wipes
Picnic Menu for a Winery
One might be tempted to follow the advice of the old verse that has been translated "a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou", and feel that is sufficient for a picnic. I believe that's a very good start, especially if the bread and wine are good quality. But, we can do much better than that. Therefore, take this menu as additional inspiration for your winery picnic, and use as much or as little of it as you'll need for the number of friends attending your picnic.
One final note... as a matter of courtesy and appreciation to the winery for allowing you to host your picnic on their grounds, you shouldn't bring in wine that doesn't come from their cellars.
Other beverage, if desired, for the designated driver
French Bread - Try making your own loaf of French bread by following this simple recipe. If not, pick up a fresh loaf at your local bakery.
Assorted Cheeses - Cheese and wine are a classic pairing. Bring along a few varieties based on your planned wine for the picnic.
Follow the advice of About's Cheese Guide, Jennifer Meier, in selecting your cheeses.
Yogurt Chicken Wrap - There are several crunchy ingredients in these wraps that add textural interest to the tangy recipe.
Bocadillo Sandwiches - This Spanish variation on sandwiches gives you so many options for one of the easiest sandwich recipes you'll run across.
Picnic Potato Salad - This is the classic potato salad that everyone hopes to find on the serving table or in their picnic basket.
Date, Walnut and Celery Salad - This is an interesting, Middle Eastern salad that will be a light and refreshing addition to your picnic. No dressing is required, but if you choose to dress it, bring the dressing along in a separate container to add just before serving.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies - Bar cookies are perfect for bringing along on a picnic because they pack so well.
Fresh fruit such as grapes or berries. Be sure to pack these on ice, as well, so that they are cool when you're ready to enjoy them.