In a valley like ours, it’s hard not to find a roadside pullout or trail overlook without a stunning view of the still snow-capped mountain peaks. Sometimes, in our hurried lifestyles and rush to see it all, we don’t stop long enough to truly soak in these views. So why not slow things down with a perfectly paired multi-course picnic in honor of National Wine Day today?
When I began to compose my perfect picnic menu, I had no idea where to start. Luckily, I started discussing the idea with The Liquor Store’s wine department manager, Zachary Coffill, when I recently attended a free Thursday tasting. With a rather blank slate, he offered multiple suggestions and options for different wine preferences.
Ideally, you would pair each course with a different, best suited wine. I recently received my spring shipment from the Jackson Hole Winery’s Wolf Pack wine club. In that selection was the 2017 viognier. The viognier has a refreshing acidity with “classic notes of apricot, nectarine, gardenia flower and orange blossoms.” Don’t be overwhelmed by the cheese options at your favorite local market because this wine pairs well with most cheeses. Coffill recommends narrowing it down with a sheep cheese or brie, especially baked brie.
Summer rosé season is upon us, and these easy sunshine sippers are extremely versatile for pairings. You need a versatile wine when your picnic options are limited to items that are easy on the go. Enter the 2017 Chateau La Roque Pic Saint Loup rosé: a light, crisp organic wine. Keep it simple and pick up a rotisserie chicken from Lucky’s Market, with a chilled deli salad on the side. Your chicken will stay warm in a cooler or an insulated reusable shopping bag. Then again, this moist chicken is just as delicious after it has cooled off. Want a wine that’s a bit darker? Keep it local with Jackson Hole Winery’s pinot noir. Dry and earthy, the nice cherry and cranberry bouquet in this wine will pair equally well with chicken.
Best dessert on the go? Chocolate truffles from CocoLove. Hand crafted by master chocolatier Oscar Ortega, follow your fancy when it comes to choosing between the variety of flavors infused in these tiny little delicacies behind the display case glass. Choose a few dark chocolates to get the best pairing with Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel. Not a sweet wine, Coffill describes the zinfandel as “bold and tannic…[it]will open up when you enjoy with dark, rich chocolate.”
If you have a particular wine you would like to incorporate into your menu, Coffill, and the other knowledgeable folks at The Liquor Store are a great resource. Enhance the flavors of your favorite wine by pairing it with appropriate foods. Armed with this knowledge, I took my picnic north of town during the sunset hours to Schwabacher Landing. Pick your favorite viewpoint and savor your experience with a delish, simple meal with friends or a loved one. It’s the proper way to toast to the Tetons.