Planning a picnic in the park this weekend? Only one thing can improve on the great outdoors, clear skies and delicious food: a great bottle of wine.
Burgers: It's all about the condiments! If you're using...
• Lots of Ketchup: Try fruity or sweet wines, such as a rosé.
• Lots of Pickles or Coleslaw: A dry red wine, like a Syrah, is a good choice.
Salami & Cheese (Brie or Manchego) on a French Baguette: This classic picnic sandwich is well suited for a great Merlot. Here's a few to try:
• Coho Wines Merlot (under $50): intense, smooth and juicy.
• Huntington Wine Cellars Merlot (under $15): robust and earthy with dark cherry and plum flavors.
• Matanzas Creek Winery Merlot (under $30): spicy and smooth with notes of blackberry.
Hot Dogs: A sweet, fruity Riesling is just the match for a hot dog loaded with relish, pickles or hot peppers. The versatile wine is very "food friendly" and pairs well with a wide assortment of eats. Try:
• Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Johannesberg Riesling (under $15): strong florals with a hint of melon and apricot.
• Trimbach Riesling (under $25): full of flavor with fruit undertones and a bit of an acidic finish.
• Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Drachenstein "Dragonstone" Riesling (under $15): fairly sweet with a honey and grapefruit flavor.
• Fritz Haag Estate Riesling (under $20): packs a nice, refreshing citrus punch.
Fried Chicken: Good, old fashioned fried chicken tastes excellent when paired with Semillon, a white wine with a full body and low acidity. Here are some top Semillon picks:
• Peter Lehmann Barossa Semillon (under $20): sits nicely between the lightness of a Riesling and the depth of a Chardonnay.
• Fire Gully Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (under $25): full bodied and dry with a crisp finish.
• Torbreck The Woodcutter's Semillon (under $20): very intense; buttery and crisp at the same time.
For more entertaining ideas, check out Celebrations.com.
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