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Dishes for a winery picnic?

Maya May 8, 2012 11:11 AM

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!

  1. todao May 8, 2012 01:20 PM

    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.

    1. thymetobake May 8, 2012 05:15 PM

      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.

      1 Reply
      1. re: thymetobake
        hotoynoodle May 8, 2012 08:48 PM

        they can be very briny and a tough pairing with anything but the driest most acid white. not the best choice.

        artichokes are a notorious wine killer. yup.

      2. perk May 8, 2012 05:36 PM

        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.

        1. l
          latindancer May 8, 2012 05:49 PM

          Crusty baguettes and crackers
          Duck pate
          Marinated goat cheese and a 5 year aged Gouda...
          Savory Galette...
          Hard salami
          Blanched and chilled vegetables
          Chilled grapes
          Olive oil
          Sea salt.

          This is what I'd pack.

          These all transport well and give

          5 Replies
          1. re: latindancer
            latindancer May 8, 2012 05:52 PM

            a good selection of choices :).

            1. re: latindancer
              todao May 8, 2012 07:27 PM

              Looks like a menu; let's do it.
              Thanks for omitting brie. OMG it's sooo overdone; and unless it's VERY fresh it's pretty nasty stuff. I have a neighbor who believes that brie is to cheese what Maserati is to automobiles. I've recommended a good shrink.

              1. re: todao
                perk May 8, 2012 08:50 PM

                I used to work with a guy who would never eat brie....he said it would be like eating dirty socks!

                1. re: perk
                  katecm May 9, 2012 10:16 AM

                  I'd like to recommend replacing the grapes with chocolate-covered grapes: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/re...

                  They're a delight.

            2. re: latindancer
              jmnewel May 9, 2012 12:53 PM

              Mushroom pate goes well with most wines and travels well in a cooler. Latindancer's list is excellent.

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