Dishes for a winery picnic?
I'm looking for some ideas for a picnic on the grounds of a winery for about 8 people. It's a really special celebratory event and want to bring some elegant dishes that can be pre-prepared, travel decently well and are relatively easy to share. A variety would be ideal, anything from pate and charcuterie to hearty grain salads and dessert-y stuff. The winery hasn't been chosen yet, so I am not sure what kinds of wine exactly, but still looking for ideas.
Any recommendations would be deeply appreciated!
I find that trying to plan complete dishes for this type of excursion is far too difficult. When I've tried to make it happen with prepared dishes I often find that the planned foods don't always pair well with the types of wine my guests might be interested in. As a compromise I usually pack a variety of cut up, ready to use foods (meats, cheeses, bread, crackers, fruit, veggies, etc.) and offer them so the guests can make individual choices. An elegant dessert to close the meal works well too. When touring the Napa Valley and/or San Juaquin Valley Wineries here in California, the program is designed so that we can share a picnic after making our wine purchases. I recognize that this plan falls short of the expectation for elegance, but IMO it's more fun and certainly less stressful.
My first thought was good, crusty bread and great cheeses, as well.
Second thought was dolmas (or dolmades?). They are wrapped in grape leaves after all. They're also nice served slightly chilled or room temp. Have no idea how they pair with wine.
I would avoid artichoke anything. They really don't go well with any kind of wine I've ever tried, at least. Maybe someone else has had a different experience.
There are some lovely pastas served at room temperature that pair well with nice crisp white wines. One of my favorites is linguini with roasted red and yellow papers, tomatoes, basil and lemon zest. Really light...great at room temperature....and visually appealing. I agree with the crusty bread and cheese suggestions....also a selection of salumi. You could offer a fruity red in addition to the white....and cover all bases.