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Y'all know by now that I'll take any excuse to throw a party. I don't often take my gatherings outdoors, though, because Houston heat is no joke and neither are the bugs (more on my preference for being inside here)! Now that I have my own outdoor space, my interest in outdoor entertaining is piqued. I've even pulled together some tips and tricks for beating the heat and the critters. Today, I've collaborated with Black Box Wines to share a setup my girlfriends and I enjoyed that you can recreate in your own backyard. Let this little guide serve as inspo to host your own backyard picnic party before the summer is over.
I recommend keeping the setup simple: food, picnic blanket, and a playlist. As far as timing, the hours leading up to sunset (aka golden hour) are your best bet for shade and favorable temperatures. You'll also get beautiful light for photos. 🙂 Below are suggested supplies for your shindig followed by my menu that plays off the full-bodied Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as tips for creating your own spread.
Backyard Picnic Party Supplies
- Picnic Blanket (I used checkered tablecloths designed for outdoors, which are durable and easy to clean.)
- Paper Plates and Cutlery
- Shatterproof Wine Goblets
- Sunscreen and Bug Repellant (I recommend lavender essential oil.)
- Citronella Candles
Backyard Picnic Party Menu
- Fresh Fruit (peaches, strawberries & grapes)
- Shareable BLT Sub Sandwich
- Balsamic Potato Salad
- Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon 3L
- Sparkling Water
I created this backyard picnic party menu with a few things in mind: easiness, picnic classics, and wine pairing. The potato salad is a summertime staple and is made with a twist of balsamic vinaigrette, which pairs quite well with red wines--especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh, summery fruits were a no-brainer to include. And, even though Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon isn't too bold or heavy, I included sparkling water for a bit of a palate cleanser and to help everyone stay hydrated while outdoors.
The BLT and potato salad are new recipes, and they are delicious, so I'll be sure to share dedicated posts for them soon. In the meantime, here's how to make the main part of the meal:
Shareable BLT Sub Sandwich Recipe
- 1 loaf French bread
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 5 leaves lettuce (I like butter lettuce for this)
- 12 ounces to 1 pound applewood smoked bacon
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise OR ½ avocado, smashed
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange bacon slices on a cookie sheet or other shallow baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for about eight minutes or until cooked through and crispy.
- Meanwhile, slice loaf of French bread in half, lengthwise, in order to create the top and bottom pieces for the sandwich. Spread softened butter on the inside of each piece. Place directly on oven rack and bake for about six minutes or until golden brown. (Check on it so that it doesn't burn!) Allow bread to cool for a few minutes before handling.
- To assemble sandwich: spread smashed avocado or mayo on bottom piece of bread, then sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Layer tomato slices on top, followed by bacon, then lettuce, and, lastly, the top piece of bread.
- You can go ahead and slice this into individual portions at this point OR take it out to the backyard and let everyone cut their own size sandwiches.
If you want to do something a little different with your menu, I've provided some picnic-ready ideas below. These recipes would pair with a wide range of different wines, which is perfect because Black Box Wines has 12 varietals that come in 3L boxes. Each is perfect for outdoor events (where glass might be discouraged) and is so lightweight. I didn't believe one box held the equivalent of four 750 mL bottles until we did the math with our glasses. 🙂
More Backyard Picnic Party Recipe Ideas:
- Lemon Garlic Mini Potatoes
- Goat Cheese Cherry Bites
- Hawaiian Sliders
- BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Festive Cheese Board - I recommend incorporating Gruyere, blue, and goat cheeses to pair with Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon. (Here are my cheese board building basics!)
Note: Garlic, tomato, goat cheese, tomato, mushrooms, beef, and spinach all pair well with Cabernet Sauvignon!
We really enjoyed this wine, y'all. In addition to the box being portable, shatterproof, and the perfect thing for a group, the wine itself is great quality. It's fruit forward and food-friendly, so I like sipping it alone, as well as paired with food like we did for this picnic. I also like that the vacuum-sealed bags prevent oxidation, so I can enjoy a glass (or two) for up to six weeks after opening the box. These award winning wines are a smart option for your budget, too, as Black Box Wines cost 40% less than comparable bottled wines! Another bonus is that no corkscrew is required.
If you decide to try Black Box Wines, I recommend signing up for the Black Box Rewards Loyalty Program in order to earn points for everything from buying Black Box products to following along with them on social media. Black Box Wines is the only wine brand to offer a loyalty program their fans. You can get 500 bonus points just for joining today! You can redeem your points for an ever-changing lineup of premium rewards. The summer season is prime party time, but I've got inspo for all sorts of occasions year round--from spring brunch to a bridal shower to fight night and girls night in. Check them out, and thanks for reading!
P.S. Here's a printable shopping list. Take this with you on your pre-party grocery store run!