This June, we are kicking off summer with the perfect gourmet picnic. Cue the music, sandwiches, cheese, sun, friends, and wine – lots of it. We've rounded up a selection of picnic essentials to elevate your outdoor dining to an amusingly carefree experience. A patriotic and practical outdoor wine tote will keep your picnic glass-free and as chic as a Napa winery. Easily slice through your apples, cheese, and baguette with a custom designed Spanish knife with a carbon steel blade and olive wood handle. Top each cheese slice with delicious and innovative fig & onion artisan jam, and slather your sandwiches like royalty with Pommery Meaux Mustard. The perfect sandwich companion? Try the addictive Sweet Heat pickles from a small batch pickler.
This patriotic wine tote is one of the hottest items in Napa and Sonoma wine circles for picnics and outdoor activities. It is made from a heavy weight cotton canvas cover with a BPA free, leak proof, and air tight liner that can contain a full 750mL bottle of wine, water, or your favorite beverage. Not worry – the nozzle construction expels oxygen to preserve the flavor and quality of fine wine, and pouring the wine into the tote as well as clean up is a breeze.
How is it possible that the relatively new vineyards along the west coast of the United States can rival the ancient wine growing regions of Italy, Spain, and France? The answer: picture perfect grape cultivation conditions coupled with the tenacity to master modern growing and farming techniques. California is blessed with abundant sunshine that ensures a consistent and long grape growing season, while the diversity of terroir supports a multitude of wine grape varieties and surprising flavor variation within them. For example, California possesses all of the following soils: sand, clay, loam, granite, volcanic ash, seabed soil, and river-run gravel: each contributing its own distinct minerality to the wines. California also has 800 miles of rugged coastline, exposing vineyards to fog and breezes that makes for exceptional Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other cool climate varieties. As the US is a nation of immigrants, the winemakers in California come from all over the world, bringing with them vines and skills from winegrowing regions far and wide. Hard-earned secrets of soil, climate and vine have been passed from generation to generation, providing California wine with its unique legacy and spectacular range.
This olivewood handled, carbon steel blade knife from famed knife-maker Pallares-Solsona was custom made for Hamptons Lane. It is the perfect everyday knife, offering the versatility that you need at a picnic. This forever piece was crafted by a third-generation knife-smith in the small town of Solsona, Spain, not far from Barcelona. Each piece is hand stamped on the handle and blade with the iconic Pallares-Solsona text.
Carbon steel blades are among the sharpest and strongest available, meaning they don't just perform well when slicing and dicing, but they also hold a razor sharp edge for longer than their stainless steel counterparts. The reliable sharpness and overall durability make it a kitchen essential. While it requires a bit of care and attention (always dry your knife thoroughly and store away from moisture to avoid rusting), it ages quite beautifully and develops a lovely patina over time.
Pommery's Meaux Mustard has been served at the tables of French kings since 1632. Deliciously grainy and slightly nutty in flavor, it is the mustard of gourmets and can bring any picnic sandwich to the next level. Impossible to replicate, the secret recipe belonged to the religious order of Meaux and was passed onto the Pommery family in 1760 who, to this day, closely guards its secret recipe.
Mustard as a condiment has been a part of the most ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Diners would often prepare it freshly, crushing spicy seeds from various cabbage-family plants on their plates (just as we freshly crack pepper) and mixing it with unfermented grape juice, or "must" to make "burning must" or "mustum ardens" – hence "must ard."
Over the centuries, mustard became more and more synonymous with refinement and pleasure. In Charlemagne's time, the king asked the monks in cathedral towns, such as Meaux, to cultivate mustard. People started consuming great quantities of mustard, and in the 1700s, Meaux mustard makers were producing at a scale that was rather industrial for the time. In 1760, the Chanoines religious sect entrusted the Meaux Mustard secret on to J.B. Pommery, and by 1890, the Pommery family were the only mustard makers remaining in Meaux. Today, Pommery retains the Chanoines' original recipe and continues to carefully select its ingredients for their unique qualities.
This jam is a genius combination of sweet onions, figs, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, orange zest, and spices, all perfectly combined to create a simple and balanced treat that is killer with just about any cheese. Laena McCarthy crafts each jar with figs and local onions from her farmer friends at Greenmarket in Brooklyn, staying true to Anarchy's small-batch, local, and artisanal mission. We love to top cheese and charcuterie with a dollop, or make our special Fig & Onion Jam-wich recipe for a flavorful and interesting picnic treat.
WARNING: You will become addicted to these Sweet Heat Pickles from Backyard Brine. Made with jalapenos and Vermont maple syrup, these pickles are perfect on sandwiches, in our special potato salad recipe, or simply by the handful on a hot summer day. Husband and wife team Randy & Cori Kopke hand pack their pickles in small batches using fresh, all-natural, and local ingredients, some right from their backyard garden, making these pickles truly artisan.
We've partnered with Murray's Cheese Shop, the oldest cheese shop in New York City and a landmark destination in historic Greenwich Village, to bring you the Stink Chart and Summer Wine & Cheese Pairings. No picnic is complete without fine cheeses, and in the cheese caves at Murray's, every cheese is ripened to perfection. Murray's cheese experts have extended an exclusive offer to Hamptons Lane members: 15% off any cheese order. That doesn't stink!