[Disclaimer: We partnered with Kenwood Vineyards to bring you this post. All photos and opinions are our own and are not influenced by Kenwood]
As we’ve chatted about many times before, we are both not very talented in the kitchen. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy entertaining. We love having friends & family over, and it’s always so much fun creating a cozy environment, along with a pretty spread of food <– even if most of it store-bought!
We recently put together a little wine night and it was surprisingly simple to throw together. Plus…we took our wine night outside, because there’s nothing like sitting on the back patio, sipping wine, and hanging out with friends on a warm night.
Since summer entertaining is upon us, we figured we’d share some of our easy tips to bring your wine night outdoors.
1. Skip the Theme
A party theme definitely has its place, but it can sometimes make the planning part a heck of a lot more stressful. Instead we suggest going with a color palette! We decided to go with neutrals, pinks, and gold metallics for our wine night. While we wanted a “Moroccan” vibe, we didn’t want to stress ourselves out over everything having to fit with that theme. So instead we brought in a few pieces that had that vibe (like this macrame runner & this wood bowl), and didn’t worry too much about everything having to go with that theme. In the end, we had a beautiful mis-matched look that was easy to throw together!
2. Don’t Forget Lighting
Lighting can really set the mood, and it comes in handy when the sun sets. Stock up on string lights, lanterns, and candles so you can still enjoy the night even after the sun goes down.
Bonus points if you get some citronella candles, as they’ll add some mood lighting AND help keep the bugs at bay. #winwin
3. Keep the Food Simple
Since we don’t cook, we’re all about easy food when entertaining. After 1 trip to the grocery store, we are armed with everything we needed to put out some yummy snacks.
Cheese boards are our go-to because 1. who doesn’t love cheese? 2. they can make you look like you’re the hostess with the mostess. I mean who isn’t impressed when you throw together an elegant cheese platter? We suggest going with at least 3-4 cheeses so you have a wide variety. Then add on fresh grapes, charcuterie, some nuts, crackers, and dates. Throw it all on a wooden board and you’re good to go! <— our kind of food prep!
We always have hummus and olives on hand too, just in case friends pop over. They’re staples that are easy to nosh on and make for pretty entertaining food.
Dessert is also (always) store-bought in our households. “Naked” cakes from the bakery with some flowers placed on top are a budget-friendly way to serve dessert. Put the cake on a stylish cake-stand (like this marble one) and you’re all set! (We’re planning to share more of our “naked cake” tips on the blog soon! Seriously…so easy!)
4. Pick up Some Grocery Store Flowers
When you’re gathering some snacks, don’t forget to hit up the flower section of the grocery store. There’s no need to venture to an expensive florist when you can get pretty blooms right then and there for a fraction of the cost. We suggest keeping the colors in the same palette (we went with all pinks), so it looks cohesive. If you have flowers on the table, you can definitely skip the party decorations. These gorgeous blooms are all you need to bring your tablescape to life! Don’t forget to grab some greenery too. It comes in handy to decorate the table and scatter around the food platters (like these versatile gold ones!).
5. Delicious Cocktails
What kind of wine night would it be without a variety of wine? We always like to put out a few different bottles of red and white wine so everyone is happy!
We’ve both been big fans of Kenwood wine for quite some time. Kenwood Vineyards, in Sonoma Valley, has been crafting premium wine for more than 45 years. We actually went to Sonoma for Casey’s bachelorette party, so whenever we’re having a wine night we like to get Kenwood wines because it brings us right back to that memorable trip.
Bridget: When it comes to wine, I’m a white wine drinker all the way and I usually order Sauvignon Blanc when out. I found out that Sauvignon Blanc was my “go-to” wine during our trip to Sonoma when we tried lots of wine and eventually landed on our favorites. I love this Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc because it’s incredibly crisp and refreshing…perfect for a hot summer night! This bottle is a twist off, which really comes in handy for entertaining.
Casey: While Bridget is all about white wine, I prefer red. There’s just something so cozy about pouring a glass, wrapping yourself up in a blanket, and sipping away with friends. I love both the Cabernet Sauvignon & Pinot Noir from Kenwood. They’re both very smooth and tasty, plus you can’t beat those price points. Such a great deal for really amazing bottles.
Serving wine when entertaining keeps things easy. Just put out some clean glasses, bottles, and an opener and everyone can serve themselves. Much more simple than worrying about mixing up cocktails continuously throughout the night.
6. Bring the Indoors Out
Don’t be afraid to cozy up your space with pillows, blankets, and even a pouf from inside your house. Bringing these indoor items outside is an easy (and FREE!) way to create the cozy environment for your wine night. We went with some pink and blue pillows and layered them on the patio bench to really keep things comfortable.
A macrame runner (that would usually be used inside) was brought outside to add texture to the table. Who cares if it’s not meant for the outdoors. You can bring it on in once everyone goes on home!
We don’t know about you, but all of this wine & food talk has us extra excited to entertain this holiday weekend! We hope these tips will help you throw your own wine night this summer. Cheers to lots of warm nights with friends ahead.