The Best #SundaySupper Picnic Wines

Who doesn’t dig a picnic? The combination of good food, good company, and, especially for me, good wine combined with fresh air and sunshine are a big part of why summer is my favorite season.

Up on the Ridge
The Picnic Area at Ridge Vineyards

And planning a picnic should be a picnic, right?  Just throw together some sandwiches and salads, pack up a basket, and head to your favorite picnic spot.  Yet choosing a wine can be challenging, because picnic fare tends to include a little bit of everything, from rich and fatty foods to tart and herbal flavors.  And those contrasts in flavors can give one pause when it comes to selecting a wine.

My criteria for great picnic is that they should be wines that are 1.) light and refreshing, 2.) a good match for a variety of foods, and 3.) inexpensive ($20 or less).

Check out this week’s of amazing and delicious picnic fare and my wine pairing recommendations that’ll complement these great recipes!

Pair these dishes with sparkling wine.  My everyday bubbly these days is Kirkland Prosecco. It has a clean, refreshing apple, pear, mandarin orange and honey character.

One of my favorite picnic wines is sparkling Rosé.  It’s the ultimate in vinous synergy – combining the acidity, effervescence of bubbly with the overall food friendliness of Rosé.  If I had to choose a bottle of wine for a picnic and didn’t know what was being served it would be a sparkling Rosé for me.  Try the Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé.  It’s made from 100% Pinot Noir and has a refreshing red berry, watermelon character.

Pair these dishes with Sauvignon Blanc.  Look for the 2013 Villa Maria Sauvignon (or the newly released 2014). It shows exuberant aromas, and zesty acidity with appealing mixed tropical fruit, ruby grapefruit, lime and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Riesling.  I love the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling. It’s just slightly off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Grüner Veltliner, a refreshing, medium-bodied, peppery white wine with stone fruit flavors.  Grüner Veltliner goes with everything from green salads to cold poached salmon to fried chicken. Look for 2012 Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner .  It has a green apple, peach, citrus, white pepper spice character with a great mouthfeel and a mineral undertone. 

Pair these dishes with a Rosé.  Look for the 2013 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare It’s a both red and white Rhone grape varieties with a dry, crisp and refreshing strawberry, citrus, and spice character. 

Pair these dishes with Cabernet Sauvignon.  Look for the 2012 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon.  It has a supple texture and a cassis, black plum and subtle spice character.

Here are the rest of this week’s beverages and desserts



What’s your favorite picnic wine?

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  1. I’m going to look for that cab for our next grilled beef dinner! Thanks for your excellent recommendations!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Liz. If there is a Costco near you, you may find it there…

  2. Renee Dobbs says:

    Yes, planning a picnic should be a picnic. At least which wine to bring is a cinch because of your wonderful pairings.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words Renee!

  3. Like the way you’ve organized pairings for the Sunday Supper Picnic. I’m a Gruner fan so will need to try your recommendation next time I make my Kale Pesto!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks David! Love your site!

  4. Manu says:

    I love a good rose’! Thank you so much for a great pairing!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Your most welcome Manu, and thanks for the comment!

  5. Everytime I pop by here I learn something else amazing about by favourite bevvie.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words Jane! That’s good to know, and why I blog about wine…to share!

  6. marbaird says:

    I can’t remember the last time I had a Bonny Doon. Thanks for the reminder. It’s on my list. Thanks for pairing up wines with all of the Sunday Suppers dishes.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words Marlene!

  7. taranoland says:

    All these wines sound fabulous for a picnic, I am going to keep this list handy for the summer. Thank you so much!!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Tara! And you’re most welcome!

  8. Stacy says:

    When we first moved to France, I was taken aback by the massive summer consumption of rosé wines because the only one I’d ever heard of growing up was Mateus. Even as a child I knew it was not the best quality and was rather sweet so I guess I thought all rosés were the same. I was pleased to find that they can be bright and light and full of Provençal sunshine. So, to answer your question, I am a convert to – and advocate of – rosé for picnics!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Hi Stacy Thanks! Great to hear you’re an advocate for drinking rosé for picnics! It’s such a great choice, and the quality has never been higher across the board IMHO. Cheers!

  9. I love it when you do wine pairings for our food! Takes the guess work, and epic fails, right out of the equation!!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Bobbi!

  10. I love Bonny Doon wine, but the Vin Gris de Cigare is a totally new one for me to try!!! I love your pairings – I always find new wines I want to try :-)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Susan. The BDV Vin Gris de Cigare is a perennial favorite Rose of mine. If you like other BDV wines, I’ll bet you enjoy it!

  11. Wow thanks for all the great suggestions!! I’m a fan of the Rieslings you mentioned, but I’m intrigued by the Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner… never had and it sounds really good!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Shaina! The Gruner is a great picnic wine. It offers very good value compared to Riesling usually, but has great acid and minerality. One of those wines that pairs well with foods that are difficult to pair like asparagus…

  12. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that cab. Thank you for pairing my dish.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks DB! I’ve seen it at Costco…

  13. Great list! Thanks for giving me so many great wines to try!!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Marion! I do hope you get to try one or two of the recommended bottles!

  14. Great wine selections and suggestions! I’ll be looking for them!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Christy. I hope you can find!

  15. Sarah Reid says:

    I always think of Parisian picnics when I hear of serving wine, there’s something so elegant about it

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Sarah…I know right?! There does seem to be something very French about having wine with a picnic. Though wine consumption is definitely on the upswing here in the US!

  16. Love your recommendations! Love a wonderful Prosecco!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Serena. Bubbly goes with virtually everything!

  17. hezzid says:

    Great pairings! I look forward to trying a few of these soon!

  18. Pinot Noir Brut Rosé sounds light and perfect with my chicken wings!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thank Cindy!

  19. This is always a helpful post for me since we are new to enjoying wine. Thanks for the suggestions.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      You’re most welcome Sherron! It’s makes me feel great to know that my post was helpful!

  20. Some new wine ideas to try when I can drink again, can’t wait. :) This post reminds me how much I love a good glass of wine, especially during the summer.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      I bet! I can’t imagine what the challenge of having no alcohol is like. And a good glass of wine in the summer is sublime!

  21. Light wines sound perfect for the hot summer weather and picnics!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Indeed! Thanks Laura!

  22. alaiyo2014 says:

    I love your suggestions, as usual, and the criteria for picking wine for a picnic. You’re a wine sage!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      You’re too kind Alaiyo. Thanks!

  23. theninjabaker says:

    Appreciate your criteria for choosing a picnic wine…Light and light on the purse =) Thank you for the info…Now I’ll know to serve Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon with my cupcakes =)

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