Top 5 Summer Wine Picnic Tips

How to Pack for the Perfect Wine Picnic

apple gesellmann.png

If you’re looking to woo a wine lover, take advantage of good weather and hit the park. Laying down with a loved one, sampling the finer wines and cheeses from local markets is about as romantic as it gets. But to ensure a fine feast with the proper accoutrements, follow these guidelines.



Non-negotiable: Bring a classic whicker picnic basket and blanket. You can find these picnic staples at the local goodwill store or via Pottery Barn or World Market. Some picnic baskets come ready-made with a blanket and the appropriate cutlery. But, if supplying your own cutlery, don’t settle for plastic. Bring nice silverware and wash when you return home. Don’t forget the spreaders for cheeses and jams. Fresh flowers add a nice touch.


Arrange for a quality array of cheeses. Diversify your selection: Think one hard cheese, one soft cheese and one ripened cheese. Tasteful cheese varieties include Asiago, Parmesan, Gouda, mozzarella, provolone, Brie and Gorgonzola. Though with 2000 variations of cheese in the world, feel free to sample your local market or grocer into a customized selection.


Select dried meats that do not require refrigeration such as coppa, speck and salami. Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that compliments wine and cheese nicely. Bring two or three different meat selections, as you won’t want to skimp on the opportunity to keep your date protein-fueled and the date lasting as long as possible.


Include a mixture of dry and fresh fruits. For dried fruits, compose a collection of cranberries, dates, figs, dried Mangos or apricots. Fresh fruits cleanse the palate and should include a medley of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, apple slices, fresh figs, cantaloupe, watermelon or grapes. To help decide, ask your picnic mate for his or her favorite fruit, and especially inquire for any allergies.


The cheeses and jams require a vehicle: crackers and bread. Pack a few cracker variations such as almond crackers, light wafers, multi-grain rounds or wheat thins. Include a bread as well: a French baguette, sourdough loaf, rolls or croissants. Feeling ambitious? Nothing beats a home-baked loaf.


Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and cashews, compliment cheese, crackers and dried fruits. Olives, either Kalamata or green varieties, additionally pair well. Don’t forget the sweets: honey, dark chocolate, grilled brown-sugar peaches and jams. Veggies provide refreshing nutrients: grilled eggplant, sliced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers or avocado.



Meet Legendary American Lyricist Sheldon Harnick - Fiddler On The Roof

The 2018 Oscars is a day to celebrate great films. I had the chance to meet Sheldon Harnick, an American lyricist best known for his collaborations with composer Jerry Bock on musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof. What are his views on 2 of the most important things in life? You guessed it; “Wine and Film”. Enjoy the conversation!

Stay tuned to Wine Channel TV and wine influencer Jessica Altieri for all your wine lifestyle happenings around the world.

And have you subscribed to the “Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri podcast yet? It’s not hard knowing what you want when you walk into a Starbucks or a Baskin-Robbins. But finding the right wine? With this podcast you can fake it till you make it. You’ll be sipping with a pro and celebrity guests from the world of wine, music, sports, fashion and food. For every “drinking” reason or season, I’ll cut through the BS and give you great wine choices for ladies night out, tailgating, “date night hero” nights, or just sitting on your couch and getting smashed. Subscribe here..

Meet Water Sommelier Jessica Altieri

Wine Celebrity Jessica Altieri Earns Prestigious Water Sommelier Certification


A $100 bottle of wine for the holiday. Lazy. A $100 bottle of extremely rare fine water sourced from the purest of icebergs in the fjords surrounding Norway’s Svalbard islands. Just 1,000km from the North Pole at 79° north, these islands sit in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and are one of Europe’s last great wildernesses with more polar bears than people.

Acclaimed sommelier, Jessica Altieri, a leading digital wine lifestyle executive, has added a new title to her already impressive list of credentials- America's Newest Water Sommelier.

Jessica's impressive resume is well-known, and for good reason. She is a Certified Wine Sommelier, California Wine Appellation Specialist, CEO of the Wine Channel TV Network, and one of Wine Enthusiast's prestigious "Top 40 Under 40 Tastemasters" in 2016. Jessica's latest certification as a Water Sommelier further solidifies her position as an innovative authority in the United States and around the world.

Jessica's certification as a Water Sommelier makes her part of a highly exclusive group of tasting professionals. Until 2015, there was only one Water Sommelier in the entire United States, and even today only a handful exist worldwide.

A Water Sommelier is someone educated on the properties of water and the elements that affect it. Training includes identification of the terroir, which is the manner in which the geographic region affects the flavor and properties of the water before settling in the location from which it is sourced for drinking. Different terroirs produce varying levels of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium. These minerals, which are present at different levels based on geography and other factors, have a marked impact on the taste and mouthfeel of water.

Different kinds of water pair better with different types of food, just like wine. Additionally, the quality and type of water used in coffee and tea have a significant impact on the taste of the beverage and can also alter the taste profile of a glass of wine or an entire meal.

Jessica's innovative, sophisticated, but humble approach has established her as one of the world's most sought-after millennial-aged professional wine judges and tasting experts. In conjunction with her work with lifestyle brands in food, fashion, retail and hi-tech, Jessica Altieri is undeniably an innovative authority in the wine lifestyle industry.

About Jessica Altieri

Jessica Altieri is a wine expert and sought-after wine judge and was recently named as one of the "40 under 40" to watch in the food and beverage industry by "Wine Enthusiast" magazine. Altieri is the CEO of The Wine Channel TV network and hosts a popular wine podcast on Revolver called "Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri." She has been a lifestyle contributor to CNBC, Yahoo! News, ABC7 Chicago and ESPN Radio, among others.