The Millennial Guide to Packing the Perfect Picnic

AKA cheap, chic, and boozy.

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

I'm guessing you're probably on either end of the picnic spectrum right now: You either have *all* the gear and *all* the fancy nibbles that cost you a fortune...or you grab a Lunchables and cheap wine and say "shove it." (No? Just me?)

Friends, there is a better way.

I chatted with wine and entertaining expert and the founder of Pinknic (New York City's first large-scale picnic and music festival dedicated exclusively to rosé) Pierrick Bouquet to get the best tips for planning a picnic that is a) fun, b) Instagrammable, because I know what your priorities are, and c) won't break the bank.

First, your must-haves:

Pinic Essentials

(Image credit: Design by American Artist)

1. S'well Bottle (opens in new tab) in Blue Jean, $45; 2. Canasta Picnic Basket (opens in new tab), $56; 3. Serena & Lily Foute Blanket (opens in new tab), $48; 4. GoVino Glasses (opens in new tab), $23/4-pack

And here, Bouquet's pro picnic tips:

1. Keep your rosé/wine cold. "I always pack a large Hydro Flask (opens in new tab) or canteen full of ice so I'm able to toss a few cubes in my glass as needed." (FYI, rosé + ice is called a piscine, and is a very popular drink in Provence. Translation? Despite what your ill-informed onlookers think, it's chiiiiic.)

2. Opt for clear, stemless wine glasses. "I'll bring GoVino (opens in new tab) glasses—since glass is usually prohibited at an outdoor picnic. They're a classy Solo cup alternative, and will still allow for your requisite, aesthetically pleasing #roséallday Instagram moment."

Picnic

(Image credit: Design by American Artist)

3. A soft blanket is essential. "I'd recommend a fouta (opens in new tab), which are quite popular in St. Tropez, and always make sure it's a light color so the blanket won't get too warm. The only thing that should be roasted at a picnic is your food. Plus, you can double your blanket as a wine carrier for your wine bottles—just wrap them neatly, fashion a handle, and voila! Because, who ever has a wine-carrier on hand? And in case it's a damp day: preserve your blanket's comfortability factor by packing a shower curtain. Sounds weird, yes, but it serves as a nice extra buffer between a wet ground and your bum."

4. Pack plenty of water. While we know wine goes down pretty easy, don't forget to pack a jug of the real stuff, too. You need to keep hydrated! (Or at least bring another canteen or bottle to fill up at the water fountain.)

5. Keep the food easy, but delicious. Because every picnic can't be a reflection of personal culinary achievement, hit your local deli or supermarket and purchase freshly sliced proteins (turkey, ham, prosciutto, etc.), cheeses, and garnishes. Have them slice up a decent loaf of bread, and you're done. (Yes, it's time to retire your plain ol' white bread from your menu offerings).

6. Avoid the stinky stuff. If you're going the simple yet traditional route, a la cheese and crackers, avoid smelly, soft cheeses and choose a selection of hard cheeses instead. My personal favorite is comté or aged gouda, both will pair well with rosé wine. You may need to upgrade your shopping experience to the supermarket for these, where there is a bit more selection."

7. Bring mason jars. They work to separate out ingredients and/or sandwich components so that nothing gets "sweaty" before you're meant to enjoy it. Always assemble onsite when possible! (Plus, they just look chicer than Tupperware.)

8. Bring biodegradable plates, serving forks, and spoons. You're obviously not the jerk who doesn't clean up after herself at the park, but just in case something gets blown away or accidentally left behind, it's best to make sure it's as environmentally friendly as possible. "Keep it green!" Bouquet says.

So, feeling picnic-y yet? Before you run out the door, heed these rosé recs—they're perfect for the weather and the cheese-and-cracker spread:

Rose Wine

(Image credit: Design by American Artist)

1. Chandon Rosé American Summer Limited Edition (opens in new tab), $24; 2. Barrymore by Carmel Road Rosé (opens in new tab), $18; 3. Ruza Wine Cans, $20/4-pack (Whole Foods)

Near NYC? Head to Pinknic.com (opens in new tab) to nab tickets for the first annual rosé-themed picnic and music festival on July 9 and 10.

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Samantha Leal
Samantha Leal

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.