Penny’s Picks: Perfect Picnic Pairings
By Penny S. Adams, winemaker and viticulturist for Wedding Oak Winery
This gorgeous spring weather in Texas calls for a picnic. Why wait for Memorial Day when you can pack a basket of delicious food and Texas wine to drink with it. Here are three food friendly wines that will feel right at home on a picnic blanket, paired with excellent recipes from the United Tastes of Texas cookbook by Jessica Dupuy.
There is no better wine to serve at a picnic than a dry rosé. The crisp, acidic qualities of rosé makes it versatile and the perfect match with a wide range of flavors in picnic dishes. Our rosé is made with Dolcetto grapes grown in the Diamante Doble Vineyard in Tokio, Texas. It is a party in a bottle with fresh scents of red berry fruit with peppery undertones. It has vibrant flavors of raspberry, cranberry and fresh-picked strawberry with a touch of lemon zest. I recommend pairing it with a hearty potato salad.
Hill Country Potato Salad (Page 14 of United Tastes of Texas)
- Bring potatoes, salt, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until tender, drain and rinse under cold water 1 minute. Drain well.
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat 8 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tsbsp. Drippings. Crumble bacon.
- Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Combine potatoes, bacon, reserved 2 Tbsp. warm drippings, eggs, next 5 ingredients, and pickles, if desired, in a large bowl. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
A chilled, bright white wine is always a fantastic choice for a picnic. Our Baby’s Breath is a festive wine that is perfect on a sunny day. And, it is packaged in a twist top, so no corkscrew is necessary. It has wonderful floral aromas from Riesling grown in the Texas High Plains, and rich honeyed pear flavors from the Roussanne grape. It is complex without being fussy with fresh citrus, candied lemon peel, baked apples with cinnamon, and firm minerals with a clean finish. It has just a hint of sweetness balanced with a slight tartness that pairs gorgeously with fried chicken.
Honey-friend Chicken with White Wine Cream Sauce (Page 84 of United Tastes of Texas)
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a large glass or ceramic bowl; add chicken. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours, turning occasionally.
- Remove chicken from marinade; drain on paper towels. Pour marinade through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, reserving 2 Tbsp. marinade. Discard remaining marinade.
- Place flour in a shallow dish. Whisk eggs with buttermilk in a separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg mixture; dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
- Pour oil to depth of 1 inch into a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 275 F. Fry chicken, in batches, turning occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until evenly browned and done. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste while hot.
- Remove and discard oil from skillet. Reserving drippings in skillet. Add wine, and cook 2 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add broth, and simmer 8 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add cream and reserved 2 Tbsp. marinade. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 6 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats a spoon.
- Pour sauce through a wire-mesh strainer into a serving bowl. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with fried chicken.
For you red wine lovers, we have a fantastic wine to sip under the Texas sky. Texedo Red made with a blend of Dolcetto, Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Tannat grapes is a lush wine full of raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, plum and concentrated dried berries mingled with tobacco and vanilla. It has a velvety mouth feel with just a touch of sweetness wrapped around a core of grippy tannins. Serve it lightly chilled with a variety of spicy and tangy dishes. I love it with tortilla chips and Texas Caviar.
Texas Caviar (Page 204 of United Tastes of Texas)
Stir together all ingredients in a serving bowl. Cover and chill, stirring occasionally, 8 hours.