This summer, I’m doing my best to assume the position of Chief Picnic Operator with a few pro-tips (that I’ve learned by trial and error). The first three? Keep the process simple, the food healthy and the wines abundant! The Wine Pairing Weekend (#WinePW) crew feels the same. This month our articles revolve around picnic fare and canned wines for pairing. Links to their articles are found below.
When you’re planning for a perfect picnic, be creative with do-ahead dishes with crowd-pleasing appetizers, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Pre-wrap individual sandwiches, put salads in a tight container, and pack non-breakable (and preferably re-usable) plates, utensils, wine glasses (plastic?) and serving dishes. Remember plenty of napkins and refuse bags on hand for a quick clean-up, a cooler with ice to keep perishables and beverages cold, comfy seating such as blankets or lawn chairs for yourself and guests, and bug spray (of course).
Now double check. That woven container or colorful cooler containing mouthwatering summertime fare is begging for not just the striped blanket, but wine. I guarantee that there will be more than one picnic goer who will love to have a glass or two of our favorite adult beverage. But what wines will be sure to please? Here’s another pro tip… Add a few canned wines to the cooler to supplement your usual choices in the bottle.
Enjoyed on a boat picnic one sultry afternoon were Le Petit Verre Bubbly Rosé and Le Petit Verre Malbec both sent as samples. As an homage to the Bousquet family who produced the wines, the label is in French: “Le Petit Verre” means “the small glass.” Although the vintage year isn’t mentioned on the 250 ml cans, certified organic grapes are from the 2021 harvest in Argentina – specifically in Tupungato, Alto Gualtallary by the foothills of the Andes at 4000 feet altitude.
The Bubbly Rosé is 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Syrah, 10% Pinot Gris and 10% Viognier. A shimmering pink, fruit forward notes of strawberries, raspberries and orange peel burst on the nose and palate. The Malbec is 100% Malbec boasting savory aromas and flavors of figs, dark berries and forest floor. Soft tannins and a medium body were memorable. The suggested retail price of Le Petit Verre canned wines is $13 for a 4-pack.
The Sauvignon Blanc is infused with yuzu, Figian ginger, elderflower and yerba mate. In true spritzer-like fashion, dancing bubbles, snappy acidity and ripe fruit notes prevailed. With aromas of ripe peaches, juicy watermelon and crushed strawberries, the Rosé, infused with white peach, Figian ginger, yerba mate and orange peel, offered notes of orchard fruit on the palate and firm acidity throughout. Found in 250ml cans, JETWAY canned wines are sold in 4-packs for $20 and have 5% ABV.
In keeping with my “make it ahead” mantra, I found a luscious recipe for Provençal Pan Bagnat, a picnic sandwich that’s a specialty of Nice. It’s replete with fresh herbs and salad ingredients that will transport your guests to the south of France with each bite! The Pan Bagnat has tuna and anchovies, but all of the ingredients can be swapped for another to meet dietary concerns. If a guest is vegetarian, substitute the fish with mozzarella or goat cheese. Roasted peppers, eggplant, courgettes and mushrooms may be added, too. When the sandwich is made a day ahead and weighted down in the refrigerator, all the juices seep into the bread. Voila!
|Slice off the top quarter of the loaf to use as a lid. Using your fingers, hollow out the inside of the rest of the bread to leave just a shell.|
|Sprinkle the inside of the bread shell and the lid with the garlic, then brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.|
|Layer the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, tuna, anchovies, eggs, olives, oregano, basil and rocket into the bread shell, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go (the order does not really matter). Mix the remaining olive oil with the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl and then drizzle this dressing into the bread shell so it trickles down over the filling. Top the bread lid and wrap the loaf tightly in kitchen foil.|
|Place in a baking tin and weigh down with a heavy pan or a four pack of tinned tomatoes or similar. Leave in the fridge overnight. Cut into wedges and serve.|
Either choice of refreshing and affordable Le Petit Verre or JETWAY canned wines will be a lovely complement to the savory Provençal Pan Bagnat. Enjoy every minute of a perfect picnic!
Cheers! ~ Cindy
For more suggestions for your next picnic with canned wines, check out the following articles from my #WinePW colleagues.