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There's no better way to appreciate the beauty of Summer than picnicking under the open sky. With today's 'foodie' culture, gone are the days of picnic baskets filled with your run of the mill sandwiches. With a little preparation, you can whip up a delightful basket worthy of your gourmand friends and family. As for the wine, we can't condone public drinking, but we can't stop you either...
We love rapini for that refreshing bitterness it adds to a dish, but it can be a hard vegetable to pair wine with. To balance out the bitterness in this pasta, we've chosen the Lunachiena from Carvinea in Puglia. The hot Pugliese sun gives a ripe fruit profile to this Montepulciano based wine that will mellow out the rapini. The easy tannins will pair beautifully with the creamy goat cheese, which brings the dish together.
Panzanella is the perfect summer picnic salad because if and when the bread in this dish gets soggy, it's no problem. It just gets better! We've paired this traditional Italian insalata with our bone dry nebbiolo based rosato from Ca'Nova in Alto Piemonte. The crisp acid in the wine will pair well with the tomatoes and red wine vinegar, while the extra bit of heaviness from the skin contact will compliment the chicken.
The beauty of the Muffuletta sandwich other than the fact that it's insanely delicious is that it's a travel ready meal. Actually, the longer you leave it, the better it gets as the thick bread soaks up all the tangy juices from the picked vegetables and capers. Being a high acid sandwich, we think the Mommiano Barbera d'Alba from Marco Porello in Piemonte will be the perfect match. When in doubt, pair like with like. Barbera is a varietal well known for it's high acid, making it the ideal vino for this hefty sandwich.
This soup is perfect for picnics because it's served cold. Our advice: throw the soup into half pint mason jars and into your cooler with the rest of your picnic items. This way your soup is already individually portioned and you don't have to worry about bringing along bowls. The Erbaluce di Caluso from Ferrando in Alto Piemonte will highlight the earthiness of the peas while cutting the richness of the crème fraîche. We guarantee you'll be double fisting with this combo.
Do you trust us? It may sound crazy, but potato chips and sparkling wine are one of the best pairings ever made. Not only is the juxtaposition between classy Champagne style bubbly and the lowly potato chip a fun one, the pairing simply cannot be beat! The salty richness of the potato chips paired with the palete cleaning bubbles of the Franciacorta from Contadi Castaldi will have you questioning everything you've ever believed about wine pairings. If you're really keen, try making your own potato chips with the recipe above from saveur.com