Create the wow factor at your Memorial Day weekend BBQ by packing the cooler with wines—especially a few unexpected gems. Not hosting? Be the hero and tote along our favorites.
With all due respect to beer (which we also enjoy), there’s something about a bracing sip of just-the-right wine with picnic food. Think a red-and-white checkered tablecloth or blanket and a stuffed picnic basket or blazing grill, and you can see how easy it is for wine to sneak in as the perfect fit. Whether it’s a casual affair or something more sophisticated (real wine glasses!), we invite you to rule Memorial Day with our five top pairings.
1. Start with a Salad
A warm summer’s day begs for a cool salad. Bust out Asian inspiration with edamame, alfalfa shoots, baby kale, colorful peppers, red onions, fresh cilantro and a simple sesame-ginger dressing. Traminette pairs perfectly with a wide variety of foods, but especially something slightly spicy (due to its crisp, subtle acidity).
2. Get Cheesy
Yes, you can drink red wine in the summer! Sip on a bold Merlot with its notes of ripe blackberry and chocolate tannins. It’s a great partner for almost every cheese, but turn heads with a fun platter of soft and hard cheeses like goat cheese, gorgonzola, smoked cheddar or whatever strikes you at your favorite cheesemonger.
Pro tip: drizzle with honey, balsamic or chocolate for unforgettable tastes and offer an assortment of crackers. Not into red wine? Try our refreshingly sweet Bancroft Moscato with peachy-pineapple-honeysuckle flavors or a nutty-vanilla unoaked Chardonnay Reserve (or try all three!).
3. Enter the Entrees
Doing the heavy lifting is Sauvignon Blanc, a versatile wine that’s complex yet completely approachable. Green fruit aromas give way to a hint of citrus and mineralogy at the finish. It’s the go-to for those who don’t like Chardonnay and is a worthy match for burgers, dogs, chicken, ribs, hoagies, shellfish and everything that’s finger-licking amazing at your BBQ.
4. Don't Forget Dessert
As if. Who forgets dessert? We certainly don’t, and although we dig watermelon, ice cream cakes, fruit tarts and traditional summer fare, we love to amaze with gourmet mini cupcakes. They’re neat and sweet, and you can’t eat just one. Try White Merlot and see how this light yet dry rose with big aromatics and peach-pineapple-honeysuckle becomes the new crowd pleaser. It complements the cupcakes without stealing the show.
5. Just Sippin'
Looking for a little additional refreshment at a sweltering summer picnic? Grab a glass of Bancroft Riesling. This well-rounded wine with a slightly sweet finish ain’t your gramma’s too-too-sweet wine—it boasts ripe pear, jasmine, honey, floral and citrus. (Treat gramma to a bottle!)
Plan a trip to our Tasting Room to get your hands on our recommendations. Looking for something to do Memorial Day weekend or trying to get out of the family BBQ (we won’t tell!)? Come hang with us at Penns Woods Winery for a Sangria Weekend. BYO food and then sit back, relax with some sangria and groove to the music. We’re here the whole weekend for wine-to-go and this very special event.
Penns Woods Winery is a family-run Pennsylvania winery. With more than 40 years of experience in the wine business, winemaker Gino Razzi and his daughter, Carley Mack, produce award-winning wines from Pennsylvania-grown grapes. Penns Woods wines can be found in restaurants throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. Stop in to your local state store and pick from a limited selection of wines, or visit our tasting room for the full offering. The tasting room in Chadds Ford provides an all-around vineyard experience and hosts live music, food and wine pairings and other exciting events each weekend. Score Penns Woods Winery news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter today!
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Go behind the scenes with the Penns Woods Winery team in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.