Ngoc Minh Ngo
Just in time for Mother's Day and bridal-shower season, we've created a menu that's a little bit French, a little bit girly, and incredibly easy to put together. Make the components of our pretty, tartlike coconut cookies up to two days ahead, then fix the salads and the sandwiches on the morning of your picnic. Bring along flowers, a blanket, and some crisp wines, and you've got an alfresco party.
A wine that works well with the green veggies and tangy vinaigrettes of this picnic is tough to come by. A fresh, lively dry rosé - preferably a Grenache - is great with our Niçoise sandwich; licorice in the wine can echo the tarragon in the sandwich. With the salads, though, Sauvignon Blanc edges out rosé; a slightly oaked version is a bridge to the tuna in the sandwich and the hazelnut oil on the green beans. So pack a bottle of each.
Copain Le Printemps Dry Rosé 2004 (Mendocino County; $14). Earthy aromas followed by delicate strawberry and mineral flavors.
Syncline Grenache Rosé 2004 (Columbia Valley, WA; $14). Smoky nose, plus beautiful berries and cherries.
Quivira Fig Tree Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (Dry Creek Valley, CA; $16). Elegant blend of lemons, grass, and minerals.
Robert Pecota L'Artiste Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (Napa Valley; $15). Flowers and tropical flavors mixed with citrus and minerals.
Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (Napa Valley; $15). Creamy lemon-lime, with melons and grass.
Bonny Doon Vin de Glacière Muscat 2004 (California; $17, 375 ml.). Fresh but honeyed apricots.