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planning a perfect picnic with Taylor’s Wines

October 11, 2013

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The sun is out and picnic plans are brewing, but there’s a little voice in the back of your head screaming “Don’t do it!”

And then you remember last summer. The peeling skin and parched throats. The sticky residue that you could never quite clean off your picnic mat. The piles and piles of dishes that awaited your return home. The bits of cheese and antipasto oil that you found in your car boot a couple of weeks later.

But it doesn’t need to be that way, so I’ve put together some of my favourite perfect picnic planning tips to take the stress out of this summer!

(And if you have some of your own, you could win yourself a couple of bottles from Taylor’s Wines by adding them below!)

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pick your position

Call me a rampant over-planner (I am) but I like to scout out my planned picnic location before the day, especially if kids are involved. Is there enough shade? Where are the nearest toilets? Will we be able to park nearby and for how long? Are there rubbish bins or will I have to take my rubbish home with me? If you’re meeting people there, it can be helpful to drop a pinpoint on a google map and send it out to guests so they aren’t wandering around a large park trying to find your set up under a tree.

protect yourself

There is nothing worse than coming home from a picnic with squinty, blurry eyes, reddening shoulders and funny bumps all over your legs from sitting on something you were unknowingly allergic to. That’s why the first things I pack are a picnic mat (or two, depending on the likely crowd), a hat, some sunnies and some sun screen.

stay hydrated

It’s far more fun sipping chardonnay when you’re propped up next to a tree, but it’s far more sensible to have a range of other hydrating bevvies to make sure you’re not forced home early with a parched throat and a splitting headache. I love popping a fistful of mint, some lemon slices or fingers of cucumber into large bottles of water and then freezing them the night before a picnic. As the day progresses, you’ll have icy-chilled and very refreshing drinks on hand to keep you cool on the hottest of days.

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cook a little, buy the rest

I’ve tried to make an entire picnic’s worth of food from scratch (believe me, I have) and more often than not it results in me sitting exhausted in the kitchen and dreading the next day’s clean-up. Remember, magazine shoot picnics are exactly that – shoots prepared by a whole team of people with assistants and people to lug stuff around and to keep things cool until they’re needed. It’s far easier to stick to one or two things from scratch and to buy the rest. Your home made sausage rolls will taste much sweeter if they’re the only thing you’ve had to worry about making.

I like to buy a couple of cheeses, some nuts, olives, crackers and a good hunk of tasty bread with dips to supplement my home-made main. Whole pieces of fruit (rather than a fruit salad) are a great dessert, and there’s less wastage as people will either take and eat a whole piece of fruit or not at all. (If you feel like cutting bits and pieces up, I’d recommend quartering and freezing oranges the night before for an icy treat!)

the serving situation

Call me lazy, but the last thing I want to do after a day in the sun is come home to a pile of sticky, oily, crumb-filled plates and platters to wash up (and a carry bag that’s in a similarly dire condition).

This is not a dinner party. Serve what you can straight out of the packet and transport the rest of the food in presentable containers with a lid that seals tightly. They’ll travel there easily, be eaten up and any remnants can stay put as you pop the lid on and toss it back into your bag.

zip lock bags

I never leave for a picnic without a range of zip lock bags in various sizes. They’re ideal for packing leftover bits of food into, without any of the worry of spills or leaks. Having a few snack sized bags on hand also means that leftovers can be parceled up and given to fellow picnickers who might like something to munch on while on the way home (but are a little wary of being the person with a handful of nuts at the bus stop.

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ditch the ice bucket

It’s heavy, drips everywhere and can be impossible to dispose of once you’re done.

Instead, invest in a good esky (one with wheels makes life a whole lot easier) and some freezer blocks.

To keep your wine cool, soak a tea towel in water and wrap it around the bottle. Pop the bottle in the freezer for 45 minutes or so before you go and put the whole thing (frozen tea towel and all!) in the esky. Your wine will be perfectly chilled and the iced tea towel will help to keep some of that coldness in as the day goes by.

(The tea towels can later be used to wrap up your used wine glasses for safe transportation home… or to drape across your forehead if the sun gets a bit much!)

relax & have fun!

(Clearly this is the most important step).

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win some wine!

Taylor’s Wines have joined with onebitemore to give you the chance to win two bottles of their favourite Summer Picnic wines – a bottle each of the Taylor’s Wines 2012 Chardonnay and a bottle of their Promised Land Moscato (click on the wine names for more information about the wines!). There are two prize packs to be won. To enter, use the Rafflecopter Widget below! (Prize only available to Australian residents – sorry!) Winner must be of legal drinking age and provide proof of age.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: this post and the associated competition has been sponsored by Taylor’s Wines. To read more about sponsored posts on onebitemore, and our editorial policy, click here.


  • #1
    October 11th, 2013

    I love cold foods at picnics! Dips and crackers and cheese are the way to go 😀 Very thorough list of things needed for a picnic!

  • #2
    Catherine
    October 11th, 2013

    This post came at such a perfect time seeing as I’ll be going on a picnic on the weekends.
    I’m all up for buying everything too except I usually like to make my own dips (and sometimes cheese sticks for dipping) seeing as how fresh dip beats store bought any day.

  • #3
    October 11th, 2013

    Dress the part! It’s all fair and well to want to look like the front cover of Elle magazine but comfort over style for sure when it comes to picnics

  • #4
    October 11th, 2013

    My problem with planning picnics is that it almost always rains at the last minute! However, nature dictates that if someone else organises the event and I only have to pitch in some food then everything works out fine haha.

  • #5
    milkteaxx
    October 11th, 2013

    perfect timing, ive been craving picnics for some time now!

  • #6
    koji
    October 11th, 2013

    Yeah summer!

  • #7
    Chloe
    October 11th, 2013

    pack some bags for your rubbish ! don’t be a tosser

  • #8
    Sarah T
    October 12th, 2013

    Always bring lots of napkins and a tea towel, you’ll never know what spills will happen.

  • #9
    Sue B
    October 12th, 2013

    Don’t forget the wet-ones, picnic food is pretty fab but usually it means eating with fingers, so you need to clean up to start (especially if you’ve hiked to get to that perfect spot), and, clean up afterwards, it sort of spoils the mood if you’re wiping sticky fingers on grass & leaves.

  • #10
    karina w
    October 12th, 2013

    I love bringing heaps of nuts to snack on during a lazy picnic!

  • #11
    judi Adams
    October 13th, 2013

    picnics are about spontaniety, pick the day correctly, load up on delights that are fingerfood friendly, and it will be, a joy to be outdoors indulging in gastronomy.

  • #12
    Diana O
    October 13th, 2013

    You don’t need to bring everything ‘just in case’. Less really is more.

  • #13
    Tanya clarke
    October 13th, 2013

    Take plenty of water to hydrate.

  • #14
    Ross S
    October 13th, 2013

    Don’t forget to pack a nice bread board to cut and present freshly brought bread, vegetables and fruit.

  • #15
    Miss A
    October 14th, 2013

    Oh how wonderful, my favourite wines, some cheese and crackers, grapes and salads, along with my family and a gorgeous blanket

  • #16
    Catrina Murray
    October 14th, 2013

    Buy pre-made platters!

  • #17
    Aaron Kaczmarczyk
    October 15th, 2013

    Always bring an extra back up bottle, just in case the other one runs out!

  • #18
    October 18th, 2013

    You have it pretty much covered! The only things I would add are bring a couple of rubbish bags and some pre-moistened hand wipes for sticky little fingers.

  • #19
    Shellie
    October 18th, 2013

    Imagine warm weather, picknicking with friends, while enjoying these wonderful wines! …Wow!

  • #20
    Benjamin Travia
    October 20th, 2013

    Bring lots of salad, because contrary to what Homer Simpson thinks, you can make friends with salad.

  • #21
    Michelle Gray
    October 24th, 2013

    Keep it simple and enjoy the wine.

  • #22
    Nicole White
    October 26th, 2013

    I leave a bucket with picnic supplies in my car boot permanently! Hint, must include corkscrew and extra wine glasses!

  • #23
    sonia
    October 27th, 2013

    Include baby wipes to clean the hands before or after. Also a good book for the “reflective – post lunch” period….helps to think

  • #24
    Melissa Wilkes
    October 27th, 2013

    Take a rug, ants bite and itching madly leaves no time for enjoying the sunshine and food.

  • #25
    Amanda Gorton
    October 27th, 2013

    Pack food that is pre-prepared, easy to transport, and light to carry.

  • #26
    Amanda S
    October 27th, 2013

    Don’t forget a knife for cutting or spreading.

  • #27
    Emily Rose
    October 27th, 2013

    Bake desserts that don’t need to be cut, like cookies or muffins! Homemade desserts are always sweeter than store-bought and add a bit of personality and nostalgia – perfect for a picnic!

  • #28
    Russell
    October 28th, 2013

    Don’t forget a hat!

  • #29
    Narelle Rock
    October 28th, 2013

    Make sure you take aeroguard as well as food nets to keep the flies and bugs away!

  • #30
    Falon Downing
    October 28th, 2013

    Remember the point of a picnic is to relax!

  • #31
    Laura C
    October 28th, 2013

    The first thing I do when picnic planning is to get plenty of ice packs frozen. Nothing worse than a picnic laden with warm wine and melted cheese

  • #32
    Charisse
    October 28th, 2013

    I’m also like you in that I don’t want to come home with sticky plates so I like to eat from plastic plates, cutlery and glasses so they can be binned easily and won’t stink out your car on the way home.

  • #33
    Kirsten W
    October 28th, 2013

    A picnic basket doesn’t always have to be a basket. Baskets are fun, coolers are practical, and plastic grocery sacks are inexpensive. What will suit the needs of your picnic best? Wooden crates are great for lugging around a heavy load. Or a stylish beach bag might be just the thing.

  • #34
    Abby Lee
    October 28th, 2013

    Always ensure you take some insect repellent!

  • #35
    Cathy h
    October 29th, 2013

    My favourite picnics I remember are often impromptu… there’s nothing more exciting than picking up the rug, throwing in bread, cheese, strawberries and wine and navigating to a surprise location!

  • #36
    Louise
    October 29th, 2013

    Make a list of all the food that your hubby/partner likes and go from there, who knows what it could lead to!!

  • #37
    Lee
    October 29th, 2013

    Picnics are all about nibbling, a little bit of everything….dips, cheese and cold meat! and I always pack rubbish bags for the clean up!

  • #38
    Renee Ballantyne
    October 29th, 2013

    Tupperware is great as well as plastic cups, plates and cutlery

  • #39
    Mick G
    October 29th, 2013

    Make a list of all items to be taken the night before as many mistakes can happen due the excitement such an outing conjours

  • #40
    kerrie F
    October 29th, 2013

    I like to take net food covers to keep the flies and bugs away, but still see all the yummy food prepared through the covers.

  • #41
    Suzie Elo
    October 29th, 2013

    Always bring more because you never know if extra guests will drop in.

  • #42
    lynne lillington
    October 29th, 2013

    Have a basket ready packed for the fun pack food that wont spoil in the sun
    if in a rush buy food that you can eat all at once
    and some fruit and nuts that are no fuss
    it’s easy ,you don’t have to be a genius.

  • #43
    Linda
    October 30th, 2013

    Prepare everything before. Hot is nice if done in advance and stored in thermos’, but cold is so much easier.

  • #44
    nicolle
    October 30th, 2013

    Make it a spur of the moment thing and that way its more exciting

  • #45
    October 30th, 2013

    Make a checklist days in advance, get your grocery shopping for picnic goodies done before the day of the picnic and then you can relax and enjoy the actual day!

  • #46
    mellie jane
    October 30th, 2013

    Make everything finger friendly and remember the napkins.

  • #47
    Zoe
    October 30th, 2013

    Make sure you take some plastic bags to put any rubbish into!

  • #48
    Charlotte
    October 30th, 2013

    Always pack more than you think you’ll need of everything – you never know what you’ll be dying for ‘one bite more’ of!!!!!

  • #49
    LAURA J
    October 30th, 2013

    Make sure you have cutlery and cold packs organised as well as food. There’s nothing worse than warm food with no forks!

  • #50
    Nicole Morris
    October 30th, 2013

    would love to win this!!!

  • #51
    Natalie Stoute
    October 30th, 2013

    Kind of a boring entry, but my goodness, this is THE BEST PICNIC THING YOU WILL EVER BUY! 3m x 3m – get one!

  • #52
    Susannah
    October 31st, 2013

    Perfect for my hubby and I to get our party started on a Saturday night and let it start and end in delight

  • #53
    Marie ashworth
    November 13th, 2013

    Entertainment.
    Don’t forget the cricket set to keep everyone entertained .

Shez