Although thought to have started in France as an indoor pursuit when affluent gourmands brought their own wine to restaurants, le “picque-nique” apparently worked its way outside after the French Revolution as people started to gather in gardens, each bringing food to the party. Sound familiar? Nothing says summer like sipping and grazing on a patio or picnic blanket.
Everyone loves a theme for clinking glasses. But you usually also want to keep it simple and bring a drop which goes with everything and everyone, right? So we’ve got you covered. How about “BC Meets France”? Support local with a French-inspired twist.
Here’s a quick and dirty shopping list of the types of vinos which are great solo and pair nicely with picnic or barbie fare. You may already have some “go to” house favorites in your stable, but the list’s got a few BC and French picks generally available in Alberta and BC (and in the $30 and under price range). So grab some strawberries, quiche, pissaldière, salad niçoise, smoked salmon, olive tapenade, cheese, baguette, paté or saucisson et voilà, you’re sorted.
Sparkling wine goes with pretty much anything, any time. Rosé bubbles pair especially nicely with charcuterie or grilled bites.
① Haywire 2016 The Bub - traditional method style made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Everything you want in a nice bubble.
② Louis Bouillot Perle D’aurore Crémant de Bourgogne – light and pretty Brut Rosé.
Whether it’s a steely Sancerre or an aromatic Kiwi, a nice little Sauvy is never out of place, especially with your greens.
③ Using sustainable and organic farming, Clos du Soleil makes a lovely Fumé Blanc (and oh, Dr Bonnie Henry is part owner of this Similkameen Valley winery).
Don’t forget the Chardy, one of the stars of Burgundy and the second most widely planted white wine grape in BC (after Pinot Gris).
④ Poplar Grove (for a lighter, less oaked expression)
⑤ Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt (rounder, more creamy style from the first Indigenous-owned winery in North America).
⑥ Louis Jadot Bourgogne Blanc – a classic style from a classic house.
Whether its soft “strawberries and cream” or crisp with herbal minerality, who doesn’t like a dry Rosé?
⑦ Winemaker’s Cut 2019 Rosé or
⑧ Bartier Bros Rosé (both from deserty South Okanagan).
⑨ Gerard Betrand Côtes des Roses (if anything for its beautiful glass rose base).
Generally low in tannins, light reds like Gamay Noir (the Beaujolais headliner) and Pinot Noir (the other star of Burgundy) are food-friendly and bring elegant fun, especially when chilled.
⑩ Haywire Gamay Noir
⑪ Rust Gamay Noir
⑫ Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir
⑬ Meyer Pinot Noir
⑭ Dominique Piron La Chanaise (Morgon)
⑮ Joeph Drouhin Bourgogne Pinot Noir
For red wine lovers who want to go a little bolder, Syrah or Southern Rhône blends can fit the bill with your Med cuisine.
⑯ Bartier Bros Syrah
⑰ Chapoutier Bila Haut Rouge - Grenache-Syrah blend from this highly-regarded French winemaker, famous not only for his iconic Rhône wines but also the Braille inscribed wine bottle labels which he introduced to the world.
There’s a Riesling out there for everyone. Bone dry, off-dry, sweet or luscious. You can have it as an aperitif, with almost any food (especially dishes with a bit of a kick) or as dessert. Riesling rocks. Join the party.
⑱ Moraine (dry) from Naramata Bench
⑲ Tanatalus (dry/off dry) from East Kelowna
⑳ Kung Fu Girl Riesling (dry/off dry) - Ok, so this one’s from Washington State, not France. Made by rock star winemaker Charles Smith it’s an awesome drop. We want to be her. Kapow!