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Picnic Wine Pairing

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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.


Yelena Jenkins from Celebrations.comhas tips on finding the perfect match when it comes to food and vino.

If You're Having Burgers

It's all about what you put on them! If you're topping your burger with ...

• ... cheese, match the wine to whichever cheese you use. (For blue cheese, try a Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.)

• ... lots of ketchup, try a fruity or sweet wine.

• ... lots of pickles or coleslaw, a dry red wine (like a Syrah) is a good choice.

• ... nothing at all, try aCanaletto Primitivo (under $20). All thatred meat requires a strong, warm red wine.

If You're Having Salami and Brie (or Manchego) on a French Baguette

This classic picnic sandwich is well-suited for a great Merlot. Here are 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.

If You're Having Hot Dogs

A sweet, fruity Riesling is just the match for a 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 Rudesheimer 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.

If You're Having 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

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