Wednesday, 01 June 2016  • Gift Baskets,

With summer right around the corner, there's no better time than now to start planning a picnic. You can enjoy a Sunday lunch in the park with some friends, then head straight to the beach for a glass of wine and a warm summer sunset -- all you need is a basket full of food and supplies.

There are so many things that can go into making yours the perfect picnic basket that it can be a bit overwhelming at times, so we're laying out the essentials to give you everything you'll need to get started. For the sake of this blog post, we'll cover the picnic classics, the true summer staples. You can, of course, create your dream picnic basket filled with anything you can imagine, but we trust that this list provides a solid foundation to get you out there enjoying the sun of summertime with your loved ones.

Meat, Cheese, and Crackers: Picnic meals and snacks are typically best when you can eat them with your hands, so stacking meat and cheese on top of your favorite crackers or pretzels is a great way to make a heartier snack that's easy to pack and easy to eat. If you're bringing a cooler, or aren't planning to be out for too long, you can make sandwiches instead!

Fruits: Some of our favorite picnic fruits are grapes and berries, since you don't really have to worry about how much to bring to share with the group and they don't leave any waste behind. You can also bring apples, clementines, or other favorites of yours, just remember to bring a small Ziploc bag so you can pack up your trash on the way out.

Dessert: No picnic is complete without dessert! No matter what your sweet tooth fancies, there's an easy treat you can bring along. Pick up some brownies or cookies at the store, or make some of your own -- just remember to let them cool before you pack them.

Drinks: Sure, you can just pack a water bottle, but where's the fun in that? We always make sure to pack a bottle of wine, sparkling lemonade, or a couple cans of the kids' favorite soda -- anything to make it feel more special than your standard lunch in the kitchen.

Cups and Utensils: Last but definitely not least, don't forget the cups and utensils! If you brought a spread for your crackers you may want a knife, plates for your fruit, or cups for your wine. Take a look through the food you're bringing and make sure that anything you'll need to cut, eat, or pack it with is in the basket.

We appreciate a thoughtfully crafted and customized basket as much as anyone, but even we sometimes like to leave it to the experts when we're a bit too busy. And that's where Wine Country Gift Baskets comes in. Hundreds of baskets, each filled with a unique selection of gourmet foods and wines, all beautifully packaged and ready for you to order and take out on your next picnic. You can even add other snacks to your favorite baskets, like throwing some cookies into the Viti Della Terra Sangiovese basket, or adding a bottle of Pinot Noir to our A Cut Above collection. All you need is a gift basket and a blanket over your shoulder, and your picnic is instantly planned to perfection.

So whether you choose to buy or DIY this season, be sure to keep us in mind. Cheers!