In honor of our country’s 240th birthday, we are celebrating all things American.
Like football, strip malls and anything fried on a stick!
And while the picnic may not have originated in the USA (we can thank the French for that), it is certainly a favorite American past-time, so we need to make sure the tradition continues.
In honor of the 4th, find your favorite park, beach, bench or boat, and have yourself a picnic.
And while there are some fabulous, well-stocked picnic baskets you can buy, we think it’s just as easy to put it all in your favorite backpack and, instead, put the money toward the wine and food.
So in addition to the blanket and bug spray — here’s our list of the five things you need for the perfect picnic.
Because it's really not a picnic without it.
And the good news is you now have a bunch of portable options.
- You can pick a screw top or a box. There are tons of great ones out there and then you don’t have to pack a corkscrew. (See our picks below.)
- If you must bring a bottle, then consider a freezer sleeve that slides right over it. Then you can skip the ice.
- Or consider an insulated bladder bag. It sounds gross but campers and bikers use them all the time. You just pour your favorite wine in an already-chilled bag and leave the heavy glass bottle at home. The wine stays chilled and is then is super-light once you finish it.
2. Plastic Wine Glasses
There’s no need to risk transporting your favorite wine glasses when there are some great plastic ones available.
Here are two we tried and loved:
- GSI Outdoors Nesting Wine Glasses — The stem screws off and nests in the bowl of the glass for easy carrying. So cool. Even better, the actual bowl of the glass has a thin rim – unlike many chunky plastic ones.
- Liplidz — Having a bug fall in your wine glass when you’re drinking al fresco is so annoying, so check out these glasses. They have a lid that you can drink through that, again, doesn’t taste like plastic. Well done.
Both glasses are lightweight, BPA-Free plastic and top-rack dishwasher safe.
Go with pre-cut finger food so you don’t need to carry utensils. Think hard cheeses (because the soft ones may melt too quickly) and charcuterie (which is basically dried meats, like sausage, salami, and prosciutto). That stuff will work great with the wine and just feels right when you’re sitting on a blanket. Cold fried chicken is super American (don’t forget the napkins) and be sure to pack a big ol’ loaf of bread.
4. Frozen Water Bottles.
Bring a bunch because they’ll act as ice and keep everything cold. And then once they melt and you drink them, you won’t have to carry them back home.
The last thing you need is to be on some secluded beach or boat and have your phone go dead, so bring a portable charger. In addition, we think you need a portable speaker too. Music makes the moment.
So pack up, send us pics and we’ll post them. Let’s bring back the picnic.
Our Three Picnic Picks:
Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2014, $14. Tons of minerality and fruit.
Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2014, $13. Light Gamay grape, fruit-forward, red ripe berries.
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.