The long, warm days of summer mean plenty of opportunities to take lunchtimes outside and enjoy leisurely picnics with friends and family. To really set off your picnic food, it’s important to choose the right wines for the occasion. The best candidates are light enough to provide refreshment in the sunshine but without lacking depth of flavour or character. Think citrus zest, light fruity notes and smooth, drinkable juiciness. Here are ten of the best picnic-friendly wines on the market, each one a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that will perfectly complement great food, great weather and great company.
Losen Bockstanz Riesling Spatlese Portnersberg 2015: A clean, citrusy Riesling by a young winemaker whose family have been in the business for generations. This is a wonderful match for any seafood dishes included in your picnic hamper, and at a light 7.5% is perfectly suited to leisurely afternoon drinking.
Hummingbird Verdelho 2014: This crisp and refreshing number from Australia’s Hunter Valley is made from the Verdelho grape, normally associated with wines from Portugal. The winemakers have done a fantastic job of bringing out the variety’s inherent freshness, and this makes a solid choice for drinking with spicier dishes.
Campo Bonito Organic Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc 2014: Wonderfully floral, citrus notes on the nose, which instantly suggest summer days spent outdoors. Easy to drink yet with a subtle intensity, this wine won’t overpower anything in your picnic basket and is a perfect match for chicken or fish.
Les Arbousiers Coteaux du Languedoc Cinsault Grenache Rosé 2015: Incredibly refreshing, pale pink French rosé with just the right amount of fruit. Light enough to enjoy with pretty much any food you care to include in your picnic, but without sacrificing character and complexity. Summer in a bottle.
VinobyVana Pink Grapefruit NV: Put any preconceptions you may have about fruit flavoured wine aside and give this grapefruit-enhanced rosé a chance. Light, drinkable and, as you might expect, the pink grapefruit lends a refreshing dryness to the whole affair. At 8%, it’s another lighter option, particularly suited to picnics.
Big Top White Zinfandel Rosé 2015: A fruity Zinfandel from Lodi in California, the grapes in this wine are from old vines, helping to bring an extra depth of flavour to the end product. The wine’s pleasantly sweet berry flavours will go beautifully with fruit-based cakes and puddings.
Due Colline Prosecco NV: Bringing along some bubbles to your picnic makes it a real celebration, and this fresh zesty Prosecco is just the ticket. With hints of peaches and apples and the perfect level of fizz, it’s fantastic for enjoying outdoors on a hot summer’s day.
Araldica Moscato d’Asti 2015: Proving that a lower alcohol content doesn’t have to mean a dull wine, this lightly bubbly Italian weighs in at a mere 5% and still packs a delicately sweet, fruity flavour balanced by a refreshing acidity. Very moreish, and absolutely ideal for picnics. At this alcohol level, you can even have an extra glass.
Tierra del Corazon Casablanca Pinot Noir Reserva 2014: This delicious, juicy red is at its best when lightly chilled, bringing out its fresh acidity and mouthwatering flavours of cherries and plums. Lighter reds like this complement red and white meat dishes alike, and won’t be out of place at any picnic.
Dragon Hills Pinot Noir 2015: Although the Eastern European country has a very long history of wine production, it’s only recently that Romanian wines have truly begun to compete with those from other parts of the world. This is another easy-drinking Pinot Noir to enjoy lightly chilled and its delicate fruitiness will sit nicely alongside any richer picnic foods.