Gifting: Filling up the Picnic Basket

Do you remember, a few years ago, when everyone was gifting pre-assembled picnic backpacks? I always thought it was a really good idea, but that it was hard to find one where the aesthetics or the accessories were just right. It struck me that a more personalized take on this would be lovely: simply pick out the right basket or tote and fill it with your own selection of picnic supplies to suit the one on your list! You could focus on just a few specific items, or fill it with everything they could ever need. It’s up to you where you stop.

Simple to put together (even at the last minute), the filled-out picnic basket can be tailored to anyone. The best part? No wasteful packaging—all you need is a big red bow.

Gifting wine during the holidays is a no-brainer, so I’ve partnered with Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve to pack holiday gifts with one of Sonoma County’s most historic and delicious wines…

The right basket is a good place to start: I chose a classic hardwood basket, but there’s no reason you couldn’t go with something simpler (and less expensive) like a seagrass basket or a market basket. I would just suggest that you look for something that will make for a nice display, while still paying attention to practical features like durability and portability.

To keep things easy, I limited myself to one or two supply sources. If you can, save yourself some time by doing one-stop shopping. Even a good grocery store will usually carry some home items, and you can pick up wine and fresh fruit or flowers at the same time.

One thing I knew I wanted the gift to include was picnic-safe wine glasses. (Could you tell these were plastic?) Most people already have their own collection of wine glasses at home, so this avoids duplicating—plus they’re durable, while still being elegant.

I also picked up a machine-washable plaid blanket, knowing that it could be used in or out of the house—and that it would make a beautiful stand-in for the wrapping paper.

For wine, I slipped in two bottles of Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve: Their Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and their Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel—with its jammy aromas and spicy notes of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon (perfect for the holidays).

Next, some real cloth napkins (tip: you could also spread these around to fill out the basket if you weren’t adding a blanket), and a cutting board. Other options? Plates and cutlery, a wine key or cheese knife, a subscription for their favorite cheese—or even a book about picnics!

And I always think it’s adds to the presentation to add something green and alive: I snipped these oranges right off the tree.

Finally, wrap it up with a bow and tuck in a note wishing them a wonderful year, full of picnics with friends: “Let us be merry and taste the good cheer!”

What would you add to your picnic basket? Any most-useful items that would surprise someone? 

P.S. All of this year’s gift guides.

This post is sponsored by Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve. Thank you for your support! 

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