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The Best Wine and Cheese To Take on a Picnic

Four cheeses and four bottles—all delicious, and all pretty affordable, too.

Cotton-linen blend napkins, stainless steel spreader, melamine plates, acrylic double old fashioned glass, wineglasses, Natual polished horn spoon, stainless steel cheese plane, slate tray, and melamine divided tray

Photo: Tyllie Barbosa; Food Styling: Carol Smoler; Styling: Barri Leiner Grant

GET THE LOOK Clockwise from top: Cotton-linen blend napkins, $15 each, Jonathan Adler, 676 N. Wabash Ave. Stainless steel spreader, $22, Jayson Home. Melamine plates, $10, Elements, 741 N. Wells St. Acrylic double old fashioned glass, $20 for set of four, and wineglasses, $24 for set of four, West Elm. Natual polished horn spoon, $10, stainless steel cheese plane, $22, and slate tray, $22, Jayson Home. Melamine divided tray, $48, Jonathan Adler.

The all-important first course sets the bar for the ensuing spread. Cristi Menard, the senior buyer at artisanal food shop Pastoral (pastoralartisan.com for locations), says you’ll need some piquant cheeses (that travel well), a crusty baguette, crackers, fruity jams, and perhaps some nuts. Here are her picks. Make sure to toss a few bottles of wine, (these all cost less than $20 each!) and hard cider, de rigueur this summer, in your basket too. Pick the perfect patch of grass, spread your blanket, and let the feast begin.

Clockwise from top left:

Lille ($21.99 a pound), a creamy and spreadable cousin of Brie, and Sheridans Irish Brown-Bread Crackers ($6.99 a box) paired with Uncle John’s Cider Mill Draught Hard Cider ($3.99 a can)

Classico, an aged goat cheese ($30.99 a pound), and the Gracious Gourmet’s spiced sour cherry spread ($5.99 for three ounces) paired with Elk Cove Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé ($19.99)

Montasio Vino Rosso, a semifirm Italian cheese ($24.99 a pound), and Casalingo salame ($31.99 a pound) paired with Andrew Murray Vineyards 2010 ‘Tous Les Jours’ Syrah ($19.99)

Chiriboga Blue, a German buttermilk blue cheese ($28.99 a pound), and Pastoral’s house-roasted spiced almonds ($14.99 a pound) paired with Cattin Freres 2011 Riesling ($13.99)

Feeling lazy? Buy Pastoral’s premade themed picnics (each serves two). The Locavore features spreadable quark from Wisconsin, smoked duck sausage from Indiana, and other Midwestern delights (24-hour advance order required; $39.99).


Back to all »

More picnic goodies:
Starters: Wine & Cheese | The Main Event: Fried Chicken & Picnic Punch | The Side Show: Salads | Sweet Endings: Brownies & Lemon Cream Pie


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