My wedding anniversary just passed and since my husband and I are the outdoorsy type, we decided to plan a romantic picnic. It occurred to me that since this was a picnic for the two of us to celebrate our special day, that it should be more of an experience rather than just lunch together. I decided that we should go the extra mile and make it really romantic and special. If you want to put together your own romantic picnic, here are my 7 tips for doing just that.
7 Tips for Putting Together the Perfect Romantic Picnic
Know the laws in your state in regards to drinking in public places– Because I wanted to incorporate wine into my romantic picnic, I decided to check out the laws in my state for drinking it in public. After all, there’s nothing more unromantic than getting in trouble. This helped me choose a place, too. In my state, you can drink wine in designated picnic sections of state parks.
Bring a selection of French wine and do a bind taste test– I thought it might be fun to do a blind taste test of several French wines. You may be surprised to find out that French wine is pretty affordable and easily available now. For my selection, I wanted to incorporate several different styles of wines so there was a lot of variety. We took with us the following:
Trimbach Riesling 2014 (a dry white wine with peach notes from Alsace- Retail $23.99), Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve 2013 (A dry White Wine with pear notes and a nutty finish from Alsace- Retail $23.99), Château D’Esclans, Whispering Angel rosé ( a Rosé wine with red berry notes from Provence, retail $21-$22), Mas de Daumas Gassac red 2015 (a red wine with 18 different grape varieties from Languedoc, Reatil $39-$45), and Mas de Daumas Gassac Rosé Frizant 2016 (sparkling rosé wine red fruit and berry notes and organically farmed from Languedoc, retail $17-$26).
Of them all, I was most surprised by the Mas de Daumas Gassac red 2015. I am not usually a red wine fan, but this one as so smooth! I love that these wines were made in France and yet so affordable. You can also find many of these at places like Total Wine and Whole Foods.
Go mid-week to avoid crowds– The good thing about my husband’s line of work is, he often doesn’t have weekends off so this means that mid-week is our ‘weekend’. I have found that the best times to go places is mid-week anyway as you can avoid crowds. By going mid-week, you may even find that the price of entry into some state parks is cheaper or that you can find a more secluded picnic table area as well much easier.
Choose a place that has some meaning for the two of you– There is a specific region of a local park that has some special meaning to my husband and I because it was the first place we ever picnicked at when we went there. The good thing is, it is the part of the park that no one seems to really ever go so we can almost always have that section of the park to ourselves. Choosing a location that means something to you will give the whole picnic a special feeling and you will have to opportunity to talk about past memories there as well.
Keep your meal simple and romantic– I like to keep picnic food simple. For me, this means foods that are not messy or sticky and can be easily packed up. I don’t like greasy foods like fried chicken simply because it creates mess. For this romantic picnic, I chose to work with fun finger foods (that can be fed to one another!) like berries, grapes and a fancy bread. Berries and fruit are also great for breaking up the wine as you sample each to get a perfect pairing. I chose an artisan Herbs de Providence bread to fit my French theme. Keeping with the theme, I also included the French butter, President, that is made of high quality creme and was so good on our bread. It had a nutty taste and was perfect. I also included Brie, of course! The brie we enjoyed was Le Châtelain brie (cheese from Raival in Meuse, France) and it was made from milk from small farms of only 20 or 30 cattle. I really loved the complex taste of this brie. Make sure you bring along things like a cutting board, knife and butter knife to enjoy the foods.
Be prepared for the unexpected– I live in the Pacific Northwest and that means that weather is unpredictable. For us, bringing along an umbrella or a back-up plan is always on the menu. I recommend doing the same so you don’t feel like your plans were ruined should the weather change or a park be closed.
Pick a theme to make planning fun– I went with a romantic time in France as my theme for this picnic, but you could choose any number of themes such as a vintage theme complete with a gingham blanket, a child-like theme with some playground time for the two of you afterwards or even a night picnic! A theme makes planning fun, but also memorable.
What are some ways you try to make a picnic romantic? Did you know French foods were so affordable?