Must-Haves For Packing The Perfect Picnic

This post is sponsored by AVA Grace Vineyards.  All opinions are my own and as always, drink responsibly.
I'm going to start by saying that picnic season is my favorite season. It's been a tradition since David and I were first married with limited funds. We would pack a picnic, head to the park and just sit under the trees for hours people-watching, snacking and catching outdoor movies. It's one of my favorite memories from our life before kids and has become a large part of our lifestyle when the spring and summer temperatures arrive. These days we have three kids in tow but it doesn't make it any less amazing, just a little louder, messy and chaotic maybe?

So when I get a chance to have a picnic outing sans the band of boys you know I'm going to take full advantage of the vitamin d, serenity, snacks and set-up.  This time around, Jackie and I got to try cheers to AVA Grace's new canned wine varietials, most importantly, the Rosé. Is there anything better than chilled Rosé on a picnic blanket in the middle of summer?

It's basically a summer rite of passage if you ask me...

So there we were, delicious Rosé in hand enjoying the sights and sounds of summer with a board full of snacks. Perfect, right? Absolutely.

Now, before we go any further and talk about my must-haves for packing the perfect picnic I have to talk about these new canned varieties from AVA Grace. First of all, the Art Deco design is stunning and honestly made it hard for me to toss them in the recycling after all was said and done. The Rosé itself was crisp and paired perfectly with our snacks- exactly how you would expect it to taste on a temperate summer day. I personally loved the ease of skipping the drama of glasses and bottles in favor of tossing a couple of cans in my bag before heading out! Each can is perfectly proportioned to 2.5 glasses of wine which is ideal for an afternoon picnic outing. Does it look like these are in the running to be a permanent staple for picnic outings? Definitely.

See my whole list of essentials below...

Must-Haves For Packing The Perfect Picnic

- Refreshments -
Ok, so we kind of just covered this, but definitely add AVA Grace cans to your list (you can find them with a store locator tool, here). They also come in a good Pinot Grigio as well. Of course, now that you have your wine, you need your hydration: a large bottle of water. I tend to use the reusable screw-top aluminum bottles to keep things chilled, but you can choose whatever.

- The Snacks -
I personally like to try and keep our picnics a utensil-free zone to make things easier. But occasionally, I'll bring along pasta salad in a reusuable to-go container. As for the rest, I'm all for fresh easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables such as: already sliced watermelon, apples, apricots, grapes, carrots, cucumbers and cherries. Of course you need your carbs, so French baguettes with brie or any soft cheese and pastries deserve to be on your board's layout. Don't forget the cured meats and nuts for a savory, filling touch.  

- The Set-Up -
So you've found the right spot for your picnic. Woohoo! Before you plop down your snacks and refreshments make sure the ground isn't going to soak through your picnic blanket. Pro tip: always bring a plastic shower curtain along for the ride. It keeps your picnic blanket -and butt- dry. They fold up flat and go right back in our bag post-picnic.

Next, your picnic blanket - I want something that all five of us can fit on and is, of course, aesthetically pleasing. I usually use a zip up blanket (similar here) for family outings but I couldn't resist this ikat & fringe shower curtain with our Art Deco cans. So much color!

Now, the fruit and cheese board. I bring along a wood cutting board to arrange our snacks and additional bowls for chips, dips and salads.

- Always Be Prepared -
It's summer, which means it's pesky insect and full-sun season. Make sure your bag includes bug spray, spf and a hat - not only for protection but to also keep you looking chic on your picnic. Don't forget napkins, additional bags for trash and recycling (keep your parks and beaches clean!) and a couple of first aid necessities like band aids, an ice pack, and pain relievers - just in case. A wireless speaker couldn't hurt the situation either, especially if you have zero interest in the surrounding picnicker's conversations and music.