Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Wine-Themed Picnic

Tips & Tricks Production Exploration

Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Wine-Themed Picnic

Two bottles of Sandbanks Rose on a picnic.

Have you dreamed of a delightful day out in nature, surrounded by friends, laughter, and the clink of glasses? Why not host the perfect wine-themed picnic! We’ve got you covered with helpful tips and tricks along with wine and refreshment recommendations to elevate your outdoor entertaining experience. Plus, with Wine Rack, you can save money on quality wine pairings without compromising on flavour or taste.  

At Wine Rack, we carry a wide selection of local wines from some of Ontario’s best wineries. You’ll find great options for al fresco dining at any budget, from wines under $15 and $20 to refreshments, spritzes, and ciders under $5 and $10. Our collection ensures that you can enjoy high-quality beverages without breaking the bank. 

In this blog, we highlight budget-friendly wine options, must-have picnic essentials, and tasty picnic menu ideas. Let's start by setting the scene, because picking the right location is key to making any gathering unforgettable. It sets the perfect backdrop for memories to unfold. Whether you're organizing a romantic date, a family picnic, or a casual meet-up with friends, selecting the right spot can transform a simple meal into something truly special.

Setting the Scene: Wine, Dine, & Sunshine 

A bottle of Sandbanks Riesling being served.

Setting the scene is key to creating a memorable experience. With a few simple touches, you can transform any outdoor space into a charming oasis for your wine-themed picnic. Perhaps it’s near the tranquil waters of a flowing river or shimmering lake. A picnic nestled in the picturesque surroundings of a local park. Or even in the comfort of your backyard.  

If you're lucky enough to have access to a waterfront location, consider spreading out your picnic blanket under the shade of a towering tree, with the gentle waves providing a soothing soundtrack to your outdoor feast. Alternatively, a nearby park with lush greenery and vibrant blooms can serve as the perfect backdrop for your wine-themed gathering, offering ample space for games, strolls, and relaxation.  

For those opting to host their picnic at home, the possibilities for décor are endless. Stylishly set the stage by arranging cozy seating areas with plush pillows and throws, creating inviting nooks where guests can unwind and indulge in conversation. Adorn your space with a large outdoor rug, twinkling fairy lights, beautiful place settings, and fragrant floral arrangements to add a touch of whimsy. 

No matter where you choose to host your wine-themed picnic, the key is to infuse the space with warmth, hospitality, and a sense of effortless elegance. So go ahead, let your creativity run wild, and create a setting that's as enchanting as it is inviting.

Menu Magic: Pairing Wine with Your Picnic Spread

A bottle of Inniskillin Pinot Noir being enjoyed.

Let's start with the star of the show: The wine! When it comes to selecting the perfect picnic-friendly wines, opt for crisp whites, refreshing rosés, and light-bodied reds that can be enjoyed chilled. Here are a few wine recommendations to please your palate: 

Jackson-Triggs Proprietors’ Selection Pinot Grigio: Smooth, light-bodied, and crisp, with notes of peach and citrus – a delightful choice for any sunny afternoon picnic. Pair this refreshing wine with an assortment of fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes served with a creamy dip or hummus spread. For an elevated food pairing, try fresh seafood, like a shrimp cocktail or grilled shrimp skewers to complement the wine.  

Saintly the good rosé: Bursting with flavours of strawberry, raspberry, and peach, with a hint of lime and floral undertones – a true crowd-pleaser. This versatile rosé pairs beautifully with a variety of picnic fare, including Mediterranean-inspired dishes like tabbouleh and grilled vegetable skewers. Prepare individual salad jars by layering your favourite salad ingredients like lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and protein, such as grilled chicken or chickpeas, in mason jars. Pack the dressing separately and toss the salad just before serving. 

BASK Sauvignon Blanc: Crisp, refreshing, and 0g sugar per ¾ cup (188 mL) serving. This white wine has vibrant notes of lemongrass, citrus, and gooseberry. Serve this zesty wine alongside a cheese board with a selection of cheeses, crackers, and some dried fruits or nuts for added texture and flavour. Choose tangy cheeses, such as goat cheese and aged cheddar, for a harmonious flavour combination with the wine.  

Sidney Cabernet Sauvignon: Experience delightful notes of Mirabelle plum, black cherry, and vanilla. Best served chilled, pair this less* alcohol Cabernet Sauvignon with beef or mushroom sliders topped with caramelized onions, medium cheddar cheese, and a dollop of aioli. The savoury and rich flavours complement the wine’s refreshing and fruity notes. For a simpler pairing, opt for roast beef sandwiches on a crusty baguette with creamy horseradish sauce, crisp lettuce, and juicy tomato slices. 

To complement your wine selection, curate a picnic menu filled with fresh, seasonal delights. Think artisanal cheeses, crusty bread, a variety of fresh fruits, vibrant salads, and decadent desserts. Embrace the art of grazing with a charcuterie board featuring an array of cured meats, olives, nuts, and dried fruits. And don't forget to pack plenty of refreshing beverages to stay hydrated throughout the day.  

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750 ml


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Packing Perfection: Essentials for Picnic Bliss

Cans of Bask Refreshments at a picnic.

Now that you've planned your menu, it's time to pack up the essentials for a seamless picnic experience. Here's your go-to packing list: 

Picnic Basket: Choose a sturdy, insulated basket to keep your culinary creations fresh and your wine chilled. Opt for one with compartments to organize your snacks and beverages efficiently. 

Picnic Blanket: Pack a waterproof, durable blanket to create a cozy seating area for your picnic spread. Look for one with a soft, fleece lining for added comfort, especially if you're planning to picnic in a grassy area. 

Portable Picnic Table: For added comfort and convenience, consider bringing an outdoor portable table or collapsible wooden coffee table for easy dining. This provides a stable surface for enjoying your meal and prevents any spills or accidents. 

Plates, Glasses, Utensils: Pack lightweight, shatterproof dishware, and stemless wine glasses for effortless elegance. Choose reusable options to minimize waste and enhance the eco-friendliness of your picnic. 

Napkins, Wipes, Sanitizer: Stay tidy and germ-free with plenty of napkins, wipes, and hand sanitizer for quick cleanup. Opt for biodegradable wipes and eco-friendly sanitizer to reduce your environmental impact. 

Portable Music Speaker: Enhance the ambiance of your outdoor gathering with a portable music speaker, providing a soundtrack for your picnic experience. Compact and wireless, it effortlessly delivers your favourite tunes, ensuring lively entertainment for you and your guests. 

Bonus: Cooler with Ice: Keep perishable items cool and refreshing with a portable cooler filled with ice packs or cubes. Choose a cooler with ample storage space and reliable insulation to ensure your food and drinks stay chilled throughout the day. 

With your picnic essentials packed and ready to go, all that's left to do is gather your friends, head to your favourite spot, and let the outdoor adventure begin! Whether you're lounging by the water's edge, picnicking in the park, or hosting a stylish gathering at home, these essentials will ensure your picnic is a resounding success. 

Stay Cool & Refreshed: Ready-to-Enjoy Beverages

Cans of Bask refreshments.

Looking to sip and savour without the high price tag? Wine Rack has you covered with a selection of quality refreshments at an affordable price. Whether you're into crisp cider, refreshing spritzes, or rosé, we've got something deliciously flavourful for any palate. Plus, our convenient ready-to-enjoy beverages are perfect for enjoying on those hot spring and summer days. Here are a few wallet-friendly options to consider: 

Saintly the good sparkling rosé mini 4-pack: The perfect single-serve sparkling rosé, bursting with notes of strawberry, raspberry, peach, and subtle florals – a delightful choice with just the right amount of bubbles for any occasion. 

Good Fortune Mango Margarita: This sparkling wine cocktail combines bold fruit and botanical flavours. Refreshing notes of juicy mango on the palate are perfectly balanced by fresh mint and a hint of effervescence. 

Growers Dry Apple Cider 1927: A classic Canadian favourite – crisp, refreshing apple cider made from only the best fruits. Crack open a chilled can on a sunny day or pair it with a creamy cheese plate. Its complexity can be enjoyed year-round. 

BASK White Tea Passion Fruit Hard Sparkling Water: Refreshing and flavourful with a delightful blend of fragrant white tea and juicy passion fruit. At 0g sugar per 355 mL can, you can’t go wrong with this fruity and bubbly hard sparkling water from BASK.  

Shop Top Wines & Refreshments at Wine Rack

So there you have it – the ultimate guide to hosting a wine-themed picnic that's sure to impress. With a little creativity, a dash of culinary flair, and your favourite wine, cider, or refreshment, you can create a picnic spread to remember. And with Wine Rack, you can save money without compromising on flavour or taste.  

Whether you have a fondness for red wine blends, crisp Chardonnays, fruity rosés, and lively sparkling wines, we’ve got a wide selection to choose from, suiting any palate and budget. For wine lovers, Wine Rack carries a wonderful collection of local favourites from renowned Ontario wineries, like Sandbanks, Jackson-Triggs, and Inniskillin. These quality yet affordable wines are perfect for elevating your everyday moments, like enjoying a beautiful outdoor picnic.  

Not in the mood for wine? No problem! You can also find a variety of refreshments and ciders perfect for grab-and-go moments like visits with friends or patio hangs. From bubbly spritzes and hard sparkling waters to crisp ciders, there's something to refresh any palate. Come see for yourself! With over 160 Wine Rack locations across Ontario, we’re easy to find in your neighbourhood. And if you prefer to shop online, you can easily explore our selection online as you order all your favourites with doorstep delivery.  

 Whether you're planning a picnic, a casual get-together, or simply looking to unwind after a long day, our selection of budget-friendly beverages at Wine Rack has something for everyone. Grab your favourite bottle, pick the perfect spot, and create unforgettable memories with an outdoor picnic with friends and family. Cheers to good times and great tastes!

*Sidney is 7% ABV, compared to average ICB wine ABV of 11.9% [LCBO Sale of Data, Product Summary Sheet (Oct 2023) 

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