The good folks at Gallo Family Vineyards (see prior review here) were kind enough to send along a four-pack of mini-bottles of Twin Valley Chardonnay, a non-vintage white that’s as close to a “picnic wine” as you’re likely to find.
Like “summer wine,” the “picnic wine” term comes loaded with baggage. It implies an easy-drinking, unchallenging wine that will go with ham sandwiches, fried chicken, potato salad, or whatever else you’ve got in the pic-a-nick basket. Twin Valley doesn’t really disappoint on this front. It’s a very simple and easy to drink wine, made even simpler by the pint-sized presentation and lack of a cork. The flavor is reminiscent of grape, apple, and some peach/apricot notes, but it honestly doesn’t taste much different than any very young, lightly oaked Chardonnay you’ve ever had. If you want nuance, try elsewhere.
If you’ve got a big picnic ahead, the wine’s also available in standard 750ml bottles (you can find it for 5 bucks) and 1.5 liter big ‘uns (you can find it for 6), too. But there’s just something satisfying about dumping the entire contents of a bottle of wine into a glass and downing it in one sitting. Take it from me: That’s hard to do with a regular bottle.
B- / $6 for four 187ml bottles