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Picnic Wines

I was recently thinking as I tried and failed to make a bottle of luke-warm Champagne stand up-right amongst the dirt and detritus of a Hampshire forest floor how different peoples’ definition of a picnic must be.

It has been the year of the picnic more than any other perhaps and even though the Equinox is upon us it appears that the threat of not meeting indoors may give the picnic a lease of life, long into the autumn.

For my parents and us growing up, a layby on the A303 high up on Bodmin Moo,r on the way to the annual family holiday on the beautiful Lizard Peninsular was a favourite spot. The cuisine consisted of a hot drink that may have been coffee or tea, difficult to tell when decanted from the impossible to clean Thermos flask. That was for the adults. For the kids a carton of Umbongo. It tasted of regurgitated mango and disappointment but they drank it in the Congo and that was good enough for us. To follow, an attempt to force down last Sunday’s roast beef between two slabs of questionably moist bread. The bovine betwixt was cold, congealed and tasting largely of the blackening banana with which it had to spend the last six hours sweating into a hessian bag. There followed a valiant attempt to wolf down a packet of Wotsits before the bag was torn from your hands by the ripping Easterly wind that would invariably be tearing across the moor. For dessert an apple. Never was a young man so grateful for the simple Granny Smith.

Now, I have seen how others picnic. I was once the recipient of a generous ticket to the opera at Glyndebourne. We went for it; dressed in black tie and took warmed, artisan pork pies (cold by the time we ate), chilled 1er Cru Chablis (warm by the time we ate). Posh olives, from a Deli not Tesco, and English strawberries, of course.

A fat, hairy man sang in Italian, a pretty girl died and some of us understood it and most of us did not but we all got very drunk and roared our approval and we all shared in the concept of the picnic.

Some had tables, furniture, Ice buckets, shellfish, caviar, strawberries and, seriously, a butler! Some had warm white wine and cold sausage in pastry. We all had fun and I encourage you to dig out your picnic blankets and do the same. While you still can.

 

Drink these:

JL Wolf Villa Wolf Riesling 2018, Pfalz GermanyPerfect, quenching, limey stuff for the outdoors, screwcap and all. But, if you can’t keep it cold then don’t bother. Drink red instead. £11.95

Philip Shaw The Wire Walker Pinot Noir 2018, Orange, AustraliaPerfect picnic Pinot. Plenty of fruit, light of touch, screwcap and all for 12.8bv. Chill before you leave the house. £16.95

Pfaffl The Dot Austrian Cherry Zweigelt, Austria13%abv screwcap and full of fruit, zest, zing and zap. Crunchy red fruits, delectable. Perfect picnic stuff. £13.95

 

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