Summer White Wines For a Picnic

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Tamar Genger MA, RD
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wine picnic

I Went on a Picnic and I Brought a Bottle of…

I had my first summer picnic the other day at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.  Caramoor is a former estate near Katonah, New York about 50 miles north of New York City.  Presently, it’s a venue for classical music performances and an art museum.  It is a beautiful area of Westchester, where you see about as many horses as people when driving down the winding roads between Bedford and Katonah.  In predictable New York summertime weather, our planned picnic day was hot and humid.  Not exactly the kind of weather that has you thinking about a glass of wine.  More like mojitos and margaritas.

caramoor

But it just so happens that I’ve had a few nice bottles lying around my "cellar" and a nice bottle is a terrible thing to waste.  So with a basket of cheeses, French bread, assorted olives, roast peppers and fresh cut fruit we braved 94 degree temperatures, found a nice spot in the shade and enjoyed our picnic lunch accompanied by butterflies and surrounded by bright flowers and well-trimmed hedges.

So what do you drink on a hot summer day?  A well-chilled white or rose is always in fashion and when you move away from heavy oak-laden whites you will discover a world of crisp, refreshing kosher wines that induce smiles, not sleep at under $20 a bottle.

2012 Goose Bay South Island Sauvignon Blanc(New Zealand) $18.  New Zealand’s South Island grapes possess a remarkable crispness and citrus qualities which really come through with this wine year after year.  It is a great picnic and party wine and pairs well with cheeses, salads and spreads.

2012 Dalton Safsufa Chardonnay Semillon Viognier(Galilee); $16.  My newest summertime fave, this is a light and highly drinkable young wine.   Crisp and aromatic with citrus, pineapple and tropical fruit notes.  Close your eyes and you can almost hear the sounds of the gentles waves of the Kinneret.

2012 Herzog Late Harvest Orange Muscat (California); $18.   A bold and aromatic dessert-style wine, offering notes of fresh pineapple and passion fruit.  At only 8.5% alcohol, this is a great kosher wine for the end of a hot summer day and will mix well with sparkling water and some chopped fresh stone fruit for a lovely White Sangria.  It would also work nicely to poach pears.

What are you bringing to your picnic?