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Spread your picnic blanket, then pull out the perfect wine

By Fred Tasker
Miami Herald

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  • Picnic wines to consider

    • 2012 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc, Calif. Dry and crisp, with flavors of lemons and white grapefruit; $12.

    • 2012 Robert Mondavi Chardonnay, Private Selection, Central Coast. Crisp and dry, with flavors of ripe peaches and pineapples; $11.

    • 2011 Robert Mondavi Meritage, Private Selection, Central Coast. Soft and dry, rich and fruity, with flavors of black cherries and milk chocolate; $11.

    • 2011 Mirassou Pinot Noir, Calif. Soft and sweet, with aromas and flavors of black cherries and vanilla; $12.

    • 2011 Mirassou Merlot, Calif. Soft and sweet, with aromas and flavors of red berries and vanilla; $12.

    • 2012 Woodbridge Pinot Grigio, by Robert Mondavi, Calif. Aromas and flavors of ripe peaches and limes, light, crisp and dry; $8.

    • 2012 Cline Cellars Zinfandel, Lodi. Deep, dark color, hearty flavors of vanilla, black raspberries and mocha; $12.

    • 2012 Banrock Station Pink Moscato, McLaren Vale, Australia. Spritzy and sweet, with aromas and flavors of strawberries and musk; $9.



You’re in a movie, one of those “meet-cute” summer trifles starring Meg Ryan, Rachel McAdams, Hugh Grant or the like.

You drive into the country in your sporty red convertible and come upon a grassy hillside by a happy brook with nary a soul in sight.

You open your trunk and pull out your checkered tablecloth and lacquered wicker picnic basket.

And, of course, your little ice chest filled with wine.

The right wine. No monster red cabs, no subtle, pricey white burgundies. This occasion calls for unserious wines. Simple. Fruity. Maybe lightly sweet, even spritzy. Cheap. Often with screw-cap tops, in case you forget your opener.

You have, however, brought real wine glasses. No flimsy, plastic bubbly flutes. No, oh, please, no red Solo cups.

Open with an aperitif – a light, dry pinot grigio. With the bread and cheese, have a nice, rich chardonnay. Brie and chablis may be a bourgeois cliche, but it’s still a fine flavor match.

With the pate, a soft red wine like the Mondavi red meritage. With the cold poached salmon, or cold, roast quail (this is a fantasy, you realize), pinot noir is a wonderful match. For pulled-pork sandwiches, a hearty red zinfandel.

With the dessert of fresh strawberries, a sweet, fizzy pink moscato will finish your meal with romantic flair.

Next, go skinny-dipping in that brook. But wait an hour.

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