The Perfect Wine Picnic

Picnic season is upon us. Goodbye gloomy days and snowfall; hello sunny days and rosés! If you’re like me, then your childhood picnics probably featured dry PB&J sandwiches and a bag of potato chips. Luckily, a picnic can be so much more! If you’re planning a big family outing or just thinking about stopping to eat on your summer road trip, then read on for some great picnic food ideas and the perfect Layer Cake wines to go with them.

In my mind, good picnic food has three qualities. First, it’s discreet, so taking a bite of something doesn’t means you’re committing yourself to finishing a whole bowl. Second, it can be served at room temperature. Oven-to-table is just not going to happen at a picnic, and that’s okay as long as we’re serving foods that don’t need to be very hot or very cold. Finally, it’s delicious!

Garlic Knots

For me, garlic knots satisfy all of these conditions. They’re really easy to make too.

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough (about enough for one pizza)
  • About half a stick of butter
  • 2 tbsp of chopped Italian parsley
  • 6 chopped cloves of garlic (more or less, depending on taste)
  • Crunchy sea salt

Directions:

To make them, roll your pizza dough out and cut it into strips about one inch wide. Tie your strips using an overhand knot (the knot adds surface area for our garlic to stick to) and set those aside to rise. While they’re rising, we can make our garlic butter. Just melt the butter in a saucepan and add parsley and garlic. We’re just looking for a quick cook here, so don’t let the garlic get brown. Bake the knots at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Finally, brush the baked knots with garlic butter, making sure to get some a few pieces of garlic on every knot. Sprinkle with the crunchy salt to finish.

Recommended Wine Pairing: Garlic, bread, and salt are all going to make us thirsty, so the perfect wine here will be very refreshing withs lots of fruity notes. Rosé is a great match, or Prosecco if you like some fizz.

Sandwich Bites

I recommend staying away from full-sized sandwiches, as they keep picnic guests tied down while they try to finish the whole thing. Sandwich bites, however, are a great choice. One easy recipe that’s sure to be a favorite is the classic BLT. Whatever you choose, just make your sandwich as you ordinarily would, then slice it into bite-sized squares. Add a toothpick to each bite for an elegant touch.

Recommended Wine Pairing: They say bacon makes everything better, but what makes bacon better? It may help to think of the BLT like a burger or any other meaty sandwich. The savory bacon pairs well with assertive reds, such as Primitivo or a red blend like Sea of Stones.

Chips and Guacamole

It’s simple, but guac is a staple food for any sort of group dining experience, and for good reason. Almost everyone loves it, you can eat as much or as little as you like, and avocados are really, really good for you. My favorite way to make guac is to keep it simple:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 avocados
  • 1 fresh lime
  • Cayenne pepper and salt to taste

There’s no need to get complicated with guacamole and this three-ingredient recipe is the most authentic version. For some reason mashing up the avocados with a mortar and pestle makes it taste even better.

Recommended Wine Pairing: Usually people associate guac with beer or tequila. However, the truth is that it can go really well with wine too. Since avocados are already so rich, we’ll want something incredibly light to go with our guac. Sauvignon Blanc or a Dry Riesling are both great choices.

So, get outside and picnic! Show us your style and wine pairings by tagging us @layercakewines or #layercakewines.

Submitted by Layer Cake Wines fan, Nick Cesare