Happy post-4th of July everyone! I hope y’all had the BEST long weekend spending time with family and friends, and eating delicious food of course 😉
One of the highlights of my 4th of July weekend was hosting an epic summer picnic with a couple of my friends, trying a bunch of French wines and foods that were sent to me by the French Ministry of Agriculture.
I am one of those people who is a total sucker for all things decorating, so I had SO much fun setting up a lovely little spread for us to enjoy the summer weather and some awesome eats!
One thing I love having at almost all of my picnics is fresh BRUSCHETTA. I mean really, who doesn’t love a good bruschetta?
I started with a crusty sourdough baguette, layered on a spread of Saint Andre Creamy Cheese (that was literally smooth as butter), and spooned on a tomato-basil-garlic topping.
I used this wonderful La Baleine Kosher Sea Salt in the tomato topping and it added a perfect balance that brightened all those wonderful flavors. I love this sea salt because it’s not only affordable, but also because the company encourages the sustainability of their environment while maintaining a high quality product. So cool!
Next up was a fresh, light Blackberry Watermelon Salad with Fresh Mint and Blue Cheese. This salad was absolutely necessary on the scorching hot day we were picnicking in, and it was seriously so refreshing! I used St. Agur Blue Cheese in this salad, which was so creamy and unique, and added a nice textural balance to the dish.
And every picnic is not complete without hummus (in my mind at least), so I made my favorite Lemon Rosemary Hummus and added in some of this La Baleine Fine Grey Sea Salt from Guerande. We spread it on some fresh baguette and it was heavenly. Salt is such an important component in hummus because it really does boost the flavor in such a powerful way, and this sea salt was perfect!
Now onto the drinks! I honestly think the star of our picnic was this super refreshing Grapefruit Peach Sangria. I used the Marie de Beauregard Vouvray 2015 Chenin Blanc as the base of my cocktail, which had notes of pear, lemon, and acacia honey— aka perfect for sangria!
Along with this delicious white wine, I added fresh grapefruit juice, sliced grapefruit, peaches, mint, and lots of lemons and limes. I topped the whole thing off with a cup of bubbly seltzer and gave it a big stir. I swear this is the best sangria I’ve EVER had.
Ohh and I’m definitely not a sweet-cocktail kind of person, so this light, refreshing sangria was totally up my alley, especially on a hot summer day!
We also had the opportunity to try three other bottles of wine. The second white we tasted may have been my favorite bottle of the group! This George Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuisse 2015 Chardonnay is from the southern part of Burgundy, France and was SO drinkable. It was crisp, refreshing,very drinkable, and not too sweet at all, which is very important to me when I drink whites.
Next up was the George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2015, a light bodied red wine from the same winery. This red had notes of ripe strawberry and black currant that almost jumped out of the glass! It was super smooth but had a really complex taste— another one of my favorites!
Last, we tried another red, the Marie de Beauregard Chinon 2015 100% Cabernet Franc. This wine paired so beautifully with the Watermelon Blackberry Salad thanks to its aromas of blackberry and cassis.
Best part of all of this, all these French products are available right here in the US! And I’m totally looking at this as preparation for our honeymoon to France in just a few weeks 🙂
Now it’s your turn— what are your favorite summer picnic foods and drinks??