J. Lohr employee Megan Carder shares her food and wine adventures while camping on the Northern Coast of California last weekend.It’s officially the middle of summer, and all this mild weather we’ve been having in California is beckoning us to the great outdoors. Without the normal amenities of a kitchen, camping is a great opportunity to get creative. Long gone are the days when camping meant drinking filtered creek water and eating freeze-dried beans. With the right tools and a flexible attitude, even the most particular gourmets can now get their food on at the beach or in the middle of the woods. And don’t forget that wine! This weekend, we brought some J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah to pair with our dinner.Red wine – for camping? Absolutely. For starters, it doesn’t have to be chilled, and therefore will not take up valuable space in your cooler. This is a definite plus, especially if you’ll be camping for more than a couple days. And while most people recommend screw caps for camping convenience, natural cork closures protect the wine from raccoons, who have not yet (to our knowledge) learned how to use corkscrews. But perhaps most importantly, red wine goes great with barbecued meats, grilled veggies, and other standby camping favorites like hamburgers and hotdogs.

For this camp dinner, we prepared a Greek salad with yellow and orange bell pepper, red heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, onion and feta, and tossed it with salt and pepper, fresh garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Then we grilled some gourmet sausage from a local meat company over the fire, and paired it with J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah. (Yum.)

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This was easy and quick camping meal! If you decide to try it, keep in mind that the salad can be prepped after breakfast before you head out on a hike or other adventure. This will give the flavors enough time to meld together. Just make sure you have a cool place, away from any critters, to store it for the day.

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If you do prefer white wine (we recommend J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay), pair it with chicken or fresh-caught trout, which you can easily cook in foil packets right on your campfire. Just throw in some seasonings, veggies and whatever else you choose.

Happy Trails!

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