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.
If You're Having Burgers
It's all about what you put on them! If you're topping your burger with ...
â€¢ ... cheese, match the wine to whichever cheese you use. (For blue cheese, try a Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.)
â€¢ ... lots of ketchup, try a fruity or sweet wine.
â€¢ ... lots of pickles or coleslaw, a dry red wine (like a Syrah) is a good choice.
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:
â€¢ Coho Wines Merlot (under $50): intense, smooth and juicy.
â€¢ Huntington Wine Cellars Merlot (under $15): robust and earthy with dark cherry and plum flavors.
â€¢ 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:
â€¢ Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Johannesberg Riesling (under $15): strong florals with a hint of melon and apricot.
â€¢ Trimbach Riesling (under $25): full of flavor with fruit undertones and a bit of an acidic finish.
â€¢ Josef Leitz Rudesheimer Drachenstein "Dragonstone" Riesling (under $15): fairly sweet with a honey-and-grapefruit flavor.
â€¢ 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:
â€¢ Peter Lehmann Barossa Semillon (under $20): sits nicely between the lightness of a Riesling and the depth of a Chardonnay.
â€¢ Fire Gully Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (under $25): full-bodied and dry with a crisp finish.
â€¢ Torbreck the Woodcutter's Semillon (under $20): very intense; buttery and crisp at the same time.
For more entertaining ideas, check out Celebrations.com.