Romantic Summer Picnic Tips

I’ll leave it to you to select a picnic destination, but I wanted to give some tips for planning the menu for a romantic picnic with your summer sweetie.

FOOD

For an intimate, casual picnic date, caprese k-bobs are hard to beat. Pair them with small, manageably sized crostinis or bruschetta squares, and avoid all the mess and fuss of a caprese sandwich or platter.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have long been a staple of the picnic lunch and you’re never too old for this fun, easy treat, in my opinion – though you may wish to spread your PB&J on a more “grown up” French bread or cut the crusts off. My fitness trainer packs wheat thins with havarti slices for hikes with her hottie or her friends. Mixed nuts paired with grapes and squares of dark chocolate round out the picnic. (Just make sure the chocolate is situated next to the ice pack in your picnic hamper and doesn’t sit out in the sun!) They wash it all down with a lovely sauvignon blanc.

DRINK

Sauv blanc isn’t the only great “grape juice” for a chic little picnic for two. Whitney Post, my go-to wine expert at Jacob Liquor Exchange, recommends several wonderful new wines for a summer outing:

Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon is only $21, which is pretty affordable for a biodynamic, organically grown product. She describes it as having “penetrating aromas of redcurrant, dried cherry and rhubarb, with a smoky overtone and an exotic floral note.”

Even if you’re the kind of picnic-goer who is better at identifying flora and fauna in the wild than you are “energy on the palate” (which this wine has a lot of), you can simply say that you like the vibrant red fruit effect and vanilla flavors that seem to pick up sweetness with exposure to air. A heavy-tannin wine is not desirable for a picnic, and fortunately, this one is clean, nervy and betrays no tannins!

If your picnic happens to take you far away from the prairie plains and flint hills to a beautiful coastal locale, a good suggestion is a Shane Vineyards Grenache Blanc – Camp 4 Vineyard from Santa Ynez Valley, CA. With only 200 cases produced, you might expect it to run more than $25, but happily, it’s affordably priced.

According to Post, “The immediate expression of pineapple, Meyer lemon, papaya, and floral notes leap from the glass.” If that doesn’t inspire a fresh-air romantic romp, I don’t know what will! This wine possesses a vibrant acidity with nectarine, peach, and stone fruit accents plus a mineral finish that lingers with hints of grapefruit, Asian pear, and seashells. Now, that’s sweet-n-sexy stuff – in a bottle. Just make sure you don’t leave the empty bottle behind at your picnic site!

Enjoy your romantic picnic and be bold and adventuresome in your menu choices even if you stick with a tame location. And if you haven’t yet found that someone wonderful to picnic with, I can help with that. suzanna@thedatemaven.com.

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