Woman on Wine with Amy Reiley
It’s that time of year, when the days are warm and we long to be outside. This year more than any, a romantic picnic is one of our best options for getting outside and doing something…anything…other than staring, uninspired, at the walls trapping you inside your home. But there is one essential ingredient for romance, whether you’re on a picnic in an unimaginably idyllic setting, or you’re just stuck in the back yard. And that’s a picnic wine.
My criteria for a wine for a romantic picnic are pretty basic. The wine should be affordable. It should be something that can travel well. (In other words, don’t bring an older, possibly fragile wine. If you’re bringing bubbles, make sure they don’t get shaken.) It should also be refreshing. And if you’re going to drive to said picnic, a lower alcohol level is the smart choice. In other words, my recommendation for a summer picnic wine is something white, or possibly a pretty and romantic pink.
Those are my primary criteria. But there is one other element you can try to layer in when you’re choosing a wine for a romantic picnic. And that’s finding a wine with aphrodisiac properties. Now, of course all wines have a reputation as an aphrodisiac. Here’s some additional information on what makes wine an aphrodisiac. But some wines also offer elements in their aroma that are believed to replicate human pheromones. Unsure what that means? Here’s my guide to finding wines with pheromone-like scents.
The wines below fit all the main criteria. And some get extra credit for their pheromone-like qualities. I hope you enjoy my wine recommendations. And if nothing else, I hope this month’s Woman on Wine column inspires you to get outside and enjoy some fresh air on a romantic picnic with someone unforgettable. Cheers!
The romantic picnic wine recommendations
2019 Les Vignerons de St. Hilaire D’Ozilhan Prestige Blanc, Côtes du Rhône
This fun wine from the south of France is a sound investment for around $12. It’s a great break from the typical whites we reach for in summer, like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. A blend of four grapes, it’s a fairly complex wine. It’s got floral aromas and luscious flavors of honeydew and crenshaw melon.
2019 Chateau St. Michelle Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley Washington
Another white that’s a bit of departure from the norm, this one comes from a little closer to home. It’s got great body and is in fact, one of the best buy wines I’ve tried this summer. It has sweet and juicy melon and pear flavors balanced by great lemon acidity.
NV Gruet Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine, New Mexico
This is my new, summer go-to bubbly in the $15 price range. I’ve been a fan of this New Mexican sparkling wine house for years but I hadn’t had the Blanc de Noirs in some time. I sure was glad to bump into it when I ducked into a local wine shop. It has great balance, compelling berry flavors and nice toast. But it’s the texture that has me hooked. Creamy with a finessed fizz, it is incredibly elegant for the price.
2019 Matua Rosé, Marlborough New Zealand
There are so many dry rosés you could choose for romantic picnic sipping. But this one is a solid choice in the $10 range. And the fact that it comes from New Zealand gives it an air of the exotic. If you want a wine that tastes like you’re drinking the best of summer fruit, you’re bound to enjoy this rosé.
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