When the news first broke out during the Chinese Lunar New Year that there was an extremely infectious virus called Corona or Covid-19 spreading around, I wasn’t expecting this to become a global pandemic that called for a world lock-down! What I realized during this quarantine (among many other things) is how lucky we are to live in Vancouver and blessed that we are surrounded by so much beautiful nature. But what I also didn’t expect was how much I love my backyard which I have never really appreciated until now. To be honest, I was never a backyard person because I like to go out and explore but because of this quarantine, I have been to my backyard pretty much every single day and have been drawing every bit of creativity I have to bring some fun into our lives and having a picnic in the back was one of them. So I partnered up with a few BC Wineries to bring my dream of picnicking and wine tasting in my backyard to life!
Welcome to My Backyard
If you follow me on stories, you will pretty much see me heading there day and sometimes during the night with my daughter to explore our giant tree, walk around the side making muddy puddles with the hose, jump on her bouncy castle and slide on her woodland playground, go for a Easter egg hunt and even check out ants invading our house etc. So many precious memories during this quarantine have been in my backyard and I have learned to truly recognize how lucky we are to have this piece of land in our home. Before Adelina, I barely stepped foot in the backyard and now looking back it’s quite a shame because my backyard is quite delightful. Every day as I mentioned, is a new adventure and currently we are looking to perhaps even expand and build a deck to really enjoy the backyard to the fullest during the summer months with a BBQ because who knows how the world is after this is over? So instead of heading out for example during long weekends and dealing with crowds and social distancing (which not everyone adheres correctly to) why not make the most of it at home and it doesn’t have to be in a yard, it can be in your living room, patio, balcony or wherever you like and all you need is a little creativity to turn that space into a IG-worthy picnic with the family!
How to Throw A Backyard Picnic?
Like I mentioned above, throwing a backyard picnic is about making the most of it and that means you just need to bring the inside out! I actually didn’t spend anything creating this picnic except for the food because I just used items I already have and it turned out quite wonderful. I was thinking of buying the red checkered blanket for that classic picnic look on Amazon but I realized it wasn’t necessary and turned out it even better. So with years of working with brands, they have gifted me throughout with items I thought would be great for a picnic but never use until now. For example, I think a great picnic always starts with the blanket but in my case, I used this round towel from a local company called Tofino Towels instead! I like this towel because it’s made for the beach so the material is quite thick and feels very comfortable on the grass. It’s also washable so I’m not scared of getting it dirty and the pattern is just so pretty and unique. Next is the basket which is very important to transfer your food and wine in if you are picnicking at the park but since I am home its more for decoration and storage of wines. I got this lovely basket from Aveeno which they sent over for Christmas and I incorporated another item from Tofino Towel, this tome a blue beach blanket which added that perfect picnic touch. I also included a basket from Free People which I brought because it was a trend three years ago during the summer and everyone was obsessed with basket bags so glad I brought one! Speaking of fashion, I am also wearing a dress my girlfriend Yvette got me for my birthday from Zara this year and I was sad I couldn’t wear it to the flower fields as intended but it turned out to be so fitting for the our little picnic outside and Adelina wore a lovely pink floral dress from PatPat for that springtime vibe. For decorations, I wasn’t going to include any flowers at first but a surprise bouquet came for me for Mother’s Day so I decided to include it and shot the whole thing actually on the same day it and made this quarantine Mother’s day that much more fun and special for me.
Wine Tasting at Home is the Best
The best thing about having a backyard picnic is that you can drink outside and walk around your house with a wine glass and its totally fine because you aren’t breaking any rules since you are home! To be honest, I felt kinda like a badass (haha I”m such rebel) and it was a lovely feeling to watch Adelina play while we drank some lovely rosé to start! So of course no picnic is complete without food and wine and instead of just having one wine, I wanted to have a tasting which is a fresh take on picnics I think. This would be especially fun if you invite a small group of friends or family over when restrictions are lifted in your area for visits and it’s a safe way to enjoy each other’s company and you can even make a fool of yourself and not worry and just head back inside if you get too drunk. So below I have a few recommendations with wines from B.C because it’s important to support local and it just brings me back to the Okanagan valley where a few of these wines are from so it makes me feel like I’m traveling again in some ways.
Support B.C Wineries
Sustainable Winery – Blouse Grouse
Located near Duncan on Vancouver Island, this winery is considered a hidden gem. A special property in the heart of Cowichan Valley with amazing views, the winery produces outstanding batches of wines and sells out quickly every year. The winery also focuses on sustainability and green practices which are applied daily and is working towards its organic certification. Due to Covid-19, the winery is closed for tasting however you can enjoy deals on their wine like this: Q Quill Off Dry White 2018 cases at 25% off and can be delivered free to B.C residents. In April, the winery donated $10.000 from wine sales to Nourish Cowichan, a non-profit that helps feed hungry children in the Valley.
Visit their website HERE
Family Run – Singletree Winery
A beautiful winery located in the Fraser Valley, I was lucky enough to be invited to an event hosted by Tourism Abbotsford there and was astounded by how gorgeous the winery is and didn’t even know wineries existed in Abbotsford . This family-run winery (whom I got to meet) also has a location in Naramata in the Okanagan Valley in 2018 and I got to first-hand experience of the passion they have for wine and also Abbotsford, which is a vibrant city with many amazing foods and culture to offer. Of course the first thing I did was gravitate towards their rose (which is my fave kind of wine) and enjoyed this lovely Singletree 2018 Rose with my mother-in-law who enjoyed it very much as well. Along with the rose, Singletree also sent over a 2019 Sauvignon Blanc and
you can purchase these wines at their tasting rooms in Abbotsford and Naramata which are open for curb side pick-up or online! When everything is safe and running again, Singletree also offers a great picnic area for families to enjoy wine at their vines for a great weekend getaway.
You can order on their website HERE
Expressive Wines: Okanagan Crush Pad
A wine for everyone, Okanagan Crush Pad produces organic (and many vegan) wines under three labels: Haywire, Narrative and Free Form. Their wines are crafted with a commitment to the Okanagan Valley, articulating the message of the place they are form. They sent over three wines for me to try which includes: Haywire Gamay 2018, Narrative XC Method 2018 and Narrative Viognier 2018 all crafted in the finest ways. Their tasting room is currently closed for social distancing, but curbside pick-up is available. You can also find wines at retail where fine wines are sold or online. You can get $20 off when you order 12 bottles or more and you can get a bottle of hand sanitizer produced in house with every order.
Order online HERE
What Will the Future Hold?
Right now, the future seems so uncertain so that means I will continue to stay home even though I understand that the city wants to slowly re-open businesses like restaurants first! But for me, I am still fearful of the situation out there and will likely not head to any indoor facilities like dinning until probably a little later when I can feel confident about the safety measures in place and that the cases are under control. What I would like to do is still support restaurants with takeouts which I have been doing and also mentioning small businesses on my Instagram. I really feel for every small business owner, especially restaurants out there right now because my family was once a part of that industry. So hopefully, the situation will get better very soon and I can enjoy a nice meal out with the my friends who I miss dearly along with my family whom I haven’t seen for nearly three months but for now a fun and cute outdoor picnic in my backyard will do just fine.
Thanks for reading and stay safe!
* I would like to thank Town Hall Brands for partnering up with me the individual wineries for supplying the wines for this shoot ! Please go support their wines:)
Towels: Tofino Towels
Wine Glasses: Joey’s Restaurant
Cheese Board: Chapters Indigo
Basket Bag: Free People
Picnic Basket: Aveeno
Flowers: Solei Canada
Yvonna Dress: Zara (gift from friend)
Yvonna’s Shoes: Soludos
Adelina’s Dress: Pat Pat
Adelina’s Shoes: Zara (new season)
Wines from Town Hall Brands: BC Wines
Blue Grouse Q Quill Off Dry White 2018
Singletree Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Singletree Rose 2018
Haywire Gamay 2018
Narrative XC Method 2018
Narrative Voignier 2018