Whether you’re exploring a new state park or relaxing in your personal patch of green space, a spruced-up picnic spread is a winner. And what’s an afternoon of cloud-watching and blanket-lazing without a cold pour of Pennsylvania wine? We’ve curated some themed baskets for inspiration, and paired them with grape varietals that thrive in PA.
This 1950s-inspired menu will have you dusting off your vintage hats and classic sundresses. Extra points for a pair of big, dramatic sunglasses.
Is there anything better than these two-bite concoctions? Make sure to use plenty of spicy mustard and a dash of vinegar in your yolk filling. And don’t forget the final sprinkle of paprika.
This salad really hits the sweet spot between healthy (lots of raw broccoli, slivered almonds) and indulgent (BACON!!!).
Our favorite version of this cocktail party staple (courtesy of Chef Vivian Howard) features blue cheese, goat cheese, chopped dates, hot sauce, and pecans. It’s dangerously delicious.
This recipe is a time machine: chopped fruit mingles with marshmallows and sour cream or whipped topping. Is it a side dish? Maybe. A dessert? Who knows! And who cares — it’s delicious.
The Wine: Pink Catawba
Pair the array of dishes with something light and fruity, such as Pink Catawba. The wine will bring out the sweetness in certain items (dates, fresh fruit) and counteract the savoriness of others (bacon, blue cheese). You could even select a sparkling version to up the festive atmosphere.
This selection is all about summertime classics. Who could argue with these simple, filling American favorites?
Cold fried chicken
We can hear the skepticism, but cold fried chicken is really a whole different food — texturally intriguing and easy to eat. Hey, if it’s good enough for world-famous chef David Chang, then it’s good enough for us.
Boost this classic side with lots of vinegar and fistfuls of fresh herbs. Some folks swear by a handful of chopped pickles — the addition is controversial and therefore optional.
American cheddar with sliced Honeycrisp apples
Invest in a high-quality aged cheddar boasting tangy, lactic notes, and nutty undertones. Serve a rustic hunk with thin slices of Honeycrisp apples, a variety beloved for its crispness and balanced acidity — wait, we talking wine or apples?
Chocolate chip cookies
Perfection. The end. And chocolate is a classic pairing with our recommended wine.
The Wine: Chambourcin
Said wine is a bright, balanced Chambourcin, served cold to accentuate the acidity. This red grape hybrid produces light, drinkable vinos — vibrant fruit flavors are balanced by herbaceous and earthy notes. It will be sublime with the peppery chicken and intense cheese.
Sometimes food trends happen for a reason: They’re delicious. Tap into your inner foodie and explore some of the culinary world’s hottest ingredients and preparations. Your Instagram feed is waiting.
This twist-on-a-classic is perfect for picnicking. The hardy kale won’t wilt — in fact, it will tenderize and improve once dressed.
Ceviche-style shrimp salad
Make a simple dressing of lime juice, orange juice, chili, and salt, before tossing in your poached shrimp along with red onion, cilantro, tomato, and avocado. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Mini kimchi-pimento-cheese sandwiches
This fusion treat is the child of an English tea sandwich — no crusts please — and a southern party staple. Once you put funky, spicy kimchi in your creamy pimento cheese, there’s no going back.
Matcha rice pudding
Make this dessert dairy-free by using coconut milk and flavor it using matcha, a Japanese green tea powder. It’s as pretty as it is tasty.
The Wine: Grüner Veltliner
A trendy meal deserves a trendy wine. Grüner Veltliner is a white wine grape from Austria. It has earned fans thanks to its food-friendly acidity, refreshing minerality, and notes of peach and white pepper.
When you can’t hop a plane, just hop over to your local grocery store or specialty shop for some European-inspired goodies.
What could be easier than popping open a can of fancy imported sardines? Serve them with crackers or rounds of bread smeared with butter.
Brie with truffle honey
Here’s another low-work, high reward item for your spread. Plop a wheel of your favorite brie onto a plate and then drizzle dramatically with sweet-and-savory truffle honey.
Skip the lettuce — it will wilt — and instead chop up hardy tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Top with a simple red wine vinaigrette, cubes of feta, and kalamata olives.
Great dessert or greatest dessert? These crispy tubes, stuffed with sweetened ricotta, pack up so nicely and are the ideal way to end a meal. Make sure your bakery fills the cannoli to order so they don’t get soggy; some will even package the shells and cheese filling separately. Who needs Sicily?
The Wine: Albariño
Complete your continental feast with a bottle of Albariño. Native to northern Spain, this white grape is thriving in Pennsylvania. Its crisp, citrus-y flavors will pair equally well with salty seafood and rich, creamy cheese.