11 Picnic-Perfect Pours

Pack these refreshing, recently-rated picnic wines to brighten up any outdoor occasion.

Shake off your blanket and pack the cooler: It’s prime picnic season. Ditch the hearty reds that have kept you warm all winter and sip these vibrant, floral and fruity whites that will cool you off while you’re soaking up the sun. And the best part is these pours pair well with a variety of picnic-perfect snacks, like cheese and salad, or can be sipped solo.

Whites

These five pours are nicely packed with fresh fruit and floral notes.

Clos Henri 2017 Petit Clos Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $18, 91 points. The latest Petit Clos release from this French-owned and operated organic winery is bursting with tropical and citrus fruits enveloped in a wreath of flint, salt and nuts. Solidly medium in body, the Clos Henri stamp of taut acidity, textural weight and stoney minerality are all there, concluding with a long, salty finish. Drink now–2023. —Christina Pickard

Artner 2017 Grüner Veltliner (Carnuntum); $13, 90 points. Slight hints of moss and green pear on the nose intensify on the light but full-flavored, dry palate. Yeasty, miso-savory hints give a backdrop to lemon freshness and provide lovely texture. Best Buy. —Anne Krebiehl

Erste Neue 2017 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $18, 90 points. This wine’s floral and fruity honeysuckle, citrus and green apple aromas practically jump out of the glass. The juicy, medium-bodied palate doles out ripe Granny Smith apple, Bartlett pear and tangerine flavors, alongside a hint of crushed stone. Tangy acidity lifts the rich flavors. —Kerin O’Keefe

Rosés

Super fresh, these also boast bright fruit and mouthwatering acidity.

Château Mourgues du Grès 2017 Galets Rosé (Costières de Nîmes); $15, 90 points. Crisp tones of white peach, strawberry and raspberry perfume this vibrant, dry rosé. The palate is juicy and forward, offering loads of tart red currant and red plum flavors, edged with chalk and stone. Drink now. Best Buy. —Anna Lee C. Iijima

Château Paradis 2017 Rosé (Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence); $20, 90 points. This classic rosé is crisp with red-currant fruits, acidity and spicy pepper from the blend of Syrah and Grenache. The wine is ripe, full in the mouth and elegant. Drink now. —Roger Voss

Sleight of Hand 2017 Magician’s Assistant Rosé of Cabernet Franc (Yakima Valley); $18, 90 points. Pale peach in color, this wine brings vibrant aromas of spice, herb, sour cherry, bubblegum and strawberry. The flavors are sleekly styled with mouthwatering acidity. It impresses. —Sean P. Sullivan

Wild Thing 2017 Rendezvous Rosé (Mendocino County); $15, 90 points. A deep pink color and bold fruit and spice flavors help this wine stand out from the pack. Made from mostly old-vine Carignan, it is full bodied, rounded and rich on the palate, yet has good acidity and a glimmer of tannin to add structure. Winemaker Carol Shelton achieves concentration that helps the flavors hang in there for a lingering finish. Best Buy. —Jim Gordon

Reds

Sip one of these light-bodied, fruit-forward reds, served slightly chilled.

Domaine du Clos du Fief 2016 Tradition (Juliénas); $21, 91 points. The Tête family is well known in Beaujolais. Here they have produced a richly textured wine with just the right amount of tannin and acidity to highlight the generous red fruits. Drink this wine from late 2018. —Roger Voss

Markowitsch 2016 Rubin Carnuntum Zweigelt (Carnuntum); $18, 91 points. A touch of peony plays on the ripe cherry fruit of the nose. The palate adds a touch of cinnamon to these enticing aromatics and seamlessly weaves its sinuous, slender but concentrated way across the palate. This is elegant, moreish, fresh and shows just a little grip. It bridges the gap between easy charm and structured poise. —Anne Krebiehl

Millbrook 2016 Pinot Noir (New York); $23, 90 points. This earthy Pinot Noir brings loads of forest floor, bramble berry and pepper spice to the fore. There’s power and depth to the palate, with ripe berry fruit flavors that transition to a peppery, dry finish. A grip of tannins offers plenty of support. Drink from 2020 as this softens with age. —Alexander Peartree

Sparkling

This sparkling rosé is bursting with spring floral notes, juicy red fruit and frisky acidity.

BiancaVigna NV Cuvée 1931 Sparkling (Vino Spumante); $16, 91 points. An intriguing blend of Glera and Pinot Nero, this polished sparkler offers ethereal scents of spring flower, orchard fruit and a delicate hint of aromatic herb. Fresh and silky, the palate doles out Rainier cherry, white peach and a note of nectarine drop. Elegant beading and bright acidity provide the fresh refined backdrop. It’s an incredible value. Editors’ Choice. —Kerin O’Keefe

Published on April 21, 2015
Topics: Hosting Tips, Picnic Wines, Wine Trends
About the Author
Fiona Adams
Senior Tasting Coordinator

Fiona Adams’ excitement for wine was sparked at a young age by her father. Working in a handful of New York City wine shops and a stint in Long Island wine country, she developed her wine knowledge, eventually earning her Level 2 WSET certification. Joining Wine Enthusiast in 2014, Fiona hopes to share her passion for natural wines.

Email: fadams@wineenthusiast.net




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