Rietvallei Wine Estate > All Articles  > HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PICNIC WINES



Wondering how to choose the ideal picnic wines? Wine and picnics go hand in hand. On warm summer days, there is nothing like heading out into the fresh air to enjoy a relaxed meal with friends and family. With a good bottle of wine, good food and good company, you will have everything you need for a good day out. Keep reading to get our tips on how to choose picnic wines the easy way.


The general rule of thumb with food and wine pairing is to pair white wines with lighter dishes and reds with heartier dishes. While this is easy at lunch or dinner, it’s not always as straightforward at a picnic. Picnic food is usually finger food. Sandwiches, cold meats, salads, snacks, and other food isn’t always as easy to pair as a sit-down meal. To help you know which picnic wines to choose, we’ve put together a list of things to consider.


You can never go wrong with a versatile white served chilled. Although they are especially good with most seafood and poultry dishes, salads and snacks, they can be enjoyed with other dishes, too. Versatile whites to go for include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. For cheeses, pair these wines with fresh cheeses such as goats cheese, feta, ricotta and mozzarella, or soft, pungent cheese such as camembert. Make sure you pack your cooler bag to keep the wine nice and crisp.

Recommended white wines: Rietvallei JMB Chardonnay 2020, Rietvallei Classic Chardonnay 2021, Burger Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2021, Rietvallei Sauvignon Blanc 2021 or John B Sauvignon Blanc 2021 and Rietvallei Chenin Blanc 2020


Red wines go well with cold meats, braai meats, boerie rolls, richer pasta salads, and other flavoursome dishes. For picnics, a more versatile red is ideal. Pair red wines with aged cheddar, gruyere and other hard cheeses or bolder aged cheeses that bring out the complex flavours of red wines. Berries, chocolate, cake and richer sweet treats will be perfect with most reds. 

Recommended red wines: Rietvallei Dark Cin (Cinsaut) 2020, Rietvallei Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Rietvallei Shiraz 2018, John B Cabernet Sauvignon, Tinta Barocca 2021 and Burger Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019.


What about sparkling wines? A light Brut varietal can be surprisingly versatile, whatever food you are including in your picnic. This wine is a good choice if you are at a picnic that includes dishes contributed by various people. If you are not sure what will be served, this type of wine will be versatile enough for most dishes. 

Recommended sparkling wines: John B Brut Rosé 2021 or John B Brut Chardonnay 2021

In the Rietvallei online wine shop, you will find a wide selection of wines to suit every taste. Browse our collections and find the perfect picnic wines. 


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