How To Pack a Picnic for Wine Tasting

Simple Tips for Packing for a Wine Country Picnic platingsandpairings.com

It’s easy to pack a pick for wine tasting with these simple tips! Just choose a few cheeses, add bread and some savory elements for an easy & elegant feast that’s perfect for wine country.
Simple Tips for Packing for a Wine Country Picnic platingsandpairings.comToday one of my friends tagged me on a wino post on facebook, yesterday a co-worker mentioned, “I saw a picture of you this weekend… WOW – You went wine tasting again?”, and, when my boss went out of town and left me with a huge workload, he returned on Monday and thanked me with a bottle of chardonnay. So, yeah, I’m that person.

I like my wine folks! (Surrenders by raising hands) Yep, I go wine tasting – Like a lot… Like a lot a lot. Which is why, I feel qualified to offer you my suggestions on how to pick a perfect picnic basket for your wine tasting adventures.

Dundee, Oregon Wine Tasting | platingsandpairings.com

Wines can vary quite a bit by region, with some areas, like Walla Walla, Washington, having heavier reds, and others, like the Willamette Valley, having softer, lighter Pinot Noir and bright, acidic, Pinot Gris. With a well rounded cheese plate, you’ll be able to compliment any of those flavors and an extra layer to your tasting experience.

Most wineries are happy to have you bring along a picnic for consumption with their wines. However, if you’re headed to a winery with an on-site restaurant, you may want to check with them first on their outside food policy.

Here are a few key tips:

Variety is important! I like to make sure I include at least one of each of these cheese types below:

  • Aged: Aged Cheddar, Comté, Gouda
  • Soft: Camembert, Boursin, Brie, Goat
  • Firm: Manchego, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Monterey Jack, Provolone

Plan to serve 3-4 oz. of cheese per person, plus accompaniments.

Choose your vehicle:

  • Bread, crackers, or pita. NOTE:   It makes things much simpler if you pre-slice the bread, or pita before leaving home.

Simple Tips for Packing for a Wine Country Picnic platingsandpairings.com

Add extras:

  • Savory: Olives (Kalamata, Castelvetrano, and Nicoise are some of my favorites), Artichoke Hearts, Cornichons, Roasted Red Peppers
  • Sweet: Jam, Fig compote, Strawberries, Raspberries, Cherries, Blueberries, Apple Slices, Pear Slices
  • Crunchy: Marcona Almonds, Cashews
  • Meat: Prosciutto, Salami, Capicola

Simple Tips for Packing for a Wine Country Picnic platingsandpairings.com

One of my favorite things to bring along, that is always a huge hit, is a small mason jar filled with jam or fig compote. Top that with some chevre and spread on crackers or bread. It’s got a great sweet and tangy note that really compliments almost any wine.

Simple Tips for Packing for a Wine Country Picnic platingsandpairings.com

Just Jan’s makes an excellent Kadota Fig Fruit Spread – Perfect for this!

Also, I love the individually wrapped goat cheese medallions that you can find at Trader Joe’s.

Simple Tips for Packing for a Wine Country Picnic platingsandpairings.com

Finally, I like to bring along a large wooden cutting board to act as the serving platter, along with some cloth napkins, a few cheese knives, and a corkscrew. That’s it – You’re set! I can usually throw together a quick picnic like this in less than half an hour.

So, there you have it. Head out there with your favorite friends, be prepared to taste some amazing wines, and take all the kudos for putting together this AMAZING spread!

Simple Tips for Packing for a Wine Country Picnic platingsandpairings.com

What are your favorite spots for wine tasting? I’d love to hear about them!

Simple Steps for Packing the PERFECT Picnic for a Day of Wine Tasting | platingsandpairings.com

24 comments

  1. Raz

    I’m not really a fan of wine but I love picnic 🙂 . Love your photos!!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Raz! This would be a great picnic, even without the wine 😉

      Reply

  2. Aubrie LeGault

    I love wine tasting too! (Who doesn’t?) Great suggestions for picnic items. I saw in one of your photos that you were at Stoller Vineyards… that is one of my favorite spots. Hawk View Cellars is another great winery with a great view and wonderful wine. And we’re wine members with Marchesi in Hood River, OR. (Although they give you a cheese/meat board so you’d just have to bring the sweets and crunchies.)

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Ooohhhh – I need to add Hood River to my wine tasting agenda. I’ve heard a lot of good things, and it’s so beautiful there!

      Reply

      1. LIsa

        Marchesi is a favorite of ours too! We’re hosting friends this weekend in Hood River and I’m putting together some winery snacks for us all. Walla Walla is on our list to visit soon! Thanks for the tips- i need to go find some fig preserves!

        Reply

        1. Erin

          I need to get out to Hood River for a visit soon! I’ve never explored the wineries there. Do you have any favorites in that area Lisa?

          Reply

  3. Melinda

    This is great! My husband and I love to go wine tasting (although we haven’t done much of it lately) and packing a picnic would be a great addition to our outings!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Melinda – I hope you and your husband make it out tasting again soon!

      Reply

  4. J @ A Hot Southern Mess

    What a great post! I am that girl too. Everyone gifts me in wine. I am not sad about that one bit. Such pretty winery pictures too!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much J! Wine makes the best present, right?!

      Reply

  5. Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife

    Oh, I recognize those adirondack chairs… I was at Stoller Saturday for the half marathon and Sunday for a business event, and I’ll be back again Friday and Sunday! 😉 I have quite a few local favorite spots, but Hawks View is at the top, as well as Stoller, Soter, Keeler, Alloro, Phelps Creek in Hood River… we’re pretty spoiled here in wine country!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I keep hearing good things about Hawks View Marlynn – I’ll definitely need to check it out!

      Reply

  6. heather @french press

    this totally makes me want to pack a picnic and head to napa for the day – if only it wasn’t a Wednesday 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I have never been to Napa, but it is DEFINITELY on my bucket list!!!

      Reply

  7. Geoff (Steep Stories)

    I just KNEW there had to be a load of French bread in the fray.

    Reply

  8. Renée ♥ The Good Hearted Woman

    I love the simplicity and beauty of your ideas, and after the week I’ve just had, we could really use a picnic. And wine.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Well cheers to that Renée! I hope you get the wine you deserve!!! Have a great weekend.

      Reply

  9. Kathleen DeCosmo

    Perfect for a Winery Afternoon 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      If only our summer weather would stick around!

      Reply

  10. Manju | Cooking Curries

    Saw this post on the sidebar when I was reading another one and couldnt resist reading and commenting. I love wine though not as knowledgable as you are. I know what I love and thats about it! 🙂 But i totally get wine gifts from all our friends cos I am the wine snob of the lot. Haha.
    We havent done a lot of wine tasting here yet, mostly only when we travel. This summer though I want to do some local wine tastings and this is gonna be my resource. I might even message you on FB! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Isn’t wine tasting just the best? I’m a bit obsessed with it 😉 Definitely feel free to message me if you need some ideas to get your trip started Manju!

      Reply

  11. Vineyards for Valentine's - ideas from breakfast to dessert

    […] for lunch I went over to Plating & Pairings who had an awesome post on how to pack the perfect picnic for wine tasting, and really, what is […]

    Reply

  12. Denise Le

    My husband and I love wine tasting and have a small group of friends that usually join us! We have tasted wine in the Rogue Valley, the Umpqua Valley, and all along the Willamette Valley. We also did some wine tasting earlier this year while we were in Arizona. We currently have wine memberships at Del Rio and Chateau Lorane. Love taking along a picnic and lots of water! Great article!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Denise! I just went wine tasting in Southern Oregon for this summer and I’ve been meaning to get a post up on that region. Soon!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *