Low weight picnic baskets need light-weight wines

Banrock Station tetrapakChoose lightly flavoured whites to match the subtle flavour of picnic cucumber sandwiches and more robustly-flavoured reds to help wash down the heartier flavours of Ginsters Cornish pasties. But with all that nosh packed away the picnic basket is going to be quite heavy enough, so it helps if the accompanying wine comes in light-weight packaging.

tins of tunaCarry a traditional glass bottle of wine to your picnic site and you'll be adding the equivalent weight of four large tins to your basket. But choose a wine in a plastic bottle and your drink immediately halves its load.

Sainsbury’s own-label House Red and Vins de Pays D’Oc comes in unromantic square-shouldered 1.5-litre plastic bottles – if you couldn’t see the label you might be mistaken for thinking you’d picked up a bottle of kiddie squash. If your zeitgeist is strong enough to ignore the derision from other picnickers then why not get some plastic-coated wine? You’ll have the last laugh as not only is the wine inside fruity and fulfilling the equivalent bottle price is £3.64 and £3.72.

But the ultimate light-weight wine comes in a can. Tesco's French White (£1.59 for 187ml, that’s quarter of the size of a normal bottle) matches almost any picnic meal and comes in a handy two-glass size serving. As an added bonus the aluminium can is fully recyclable. If you prefer your wine a little sweeter then try the medium-dry version. There is a snag though it only comes in larger, and heavier, quantities: a four-bottle sized 3-litre box costs £13.99.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Tesco French Dry White

£1.59 for 187ml can (equivalent to £6.36 for a 75cl bottle)

Easy-drinking white that matches almost anything. And as it comes in a can you won’t need to bother with corkscrews or glasses. That’ll save a bit of weight in the picnic basket.

Sainsbury’s House Red

£7.29 for 1.5-litres (equivalent to £3.64 for a 75cl bottle)

Sainsbury’s Merlot Vins de Pays D’Oc

£7.45 for 1.5-litres (equivalent to £3.72 for a 75cl bottle)

plastic bottle topSainsbury’s Cabernet Sauvignon Vins de Pays D’Oc

£7.45 for 1.5-litres (equivalent to £3.72 for a 75cl bottle)

All of the above Sainsbury’s wines are packaged in a plastic screwcapped bottle. So not only will two-bottles worth of red wine weigh less than the traditional glass bottles but you won’t need to remember to take a corkscrew with you on the picnic.

All taste fruity – the House Red is the lightest in flavour and body and so won’t overpower delicate nibbles, while the Merlot has slightly more oomph about it with cherry flavours and the Cabernet Sauvignon packs a punch with blackberry and black pepper flavours. All tasty and all good value.

This article has appeared on Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk