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Everyday Entertaining

Easy Summer Wines: 7 Toast-Worthy Types to Try

You'll love these picks for Summer Rosé, Chardonnay & more
Filed Under > Entertaining

Easy Summer Wines on Waiting on Martha

Summer is the time for patio sittin’ and wine sippin’ always and forever.  I’m a big fan of wine in general, and I especially love my easy summer wines.  Extremely drinkable, light, refreshing and cool, all of these wines are sure to become staples in your entertaining arsenal. 

Below, I list my current favorite rosé, chardonnay and other refreshing blends.  By now you know about Whispering Angel, a WOM favorite, so you’ll appreciate a list of additional options. 

So if you’re looking for sippable, easy summer wines to try, look no further.  Hopefully this list helps you discover your new favorite summertime sip!  Truly, MKR

P.S. See our previous list of more patio season wines here. xo 

2016 Summer Water Rosé

Winc, $15

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Quite possibly the best rosé around?!  This is a dry wine that’s perfectly crisp and ideal for summer drinking. The grapes for this Central Coast Grenache and Syrah blend were picked early in the season to achieve an ideal natural acidity. Expect notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit and white peach. 

Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016

Exquisite Collection, $8

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So Fortune named this wine one of the best wines of the year and ranked among the best rosés in the world, and it’s only $8, AND it’s sold at Aldi.  Enough said, right?! 

2015 Rosé

Hogwash, $16

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I like to think of this rosé as summertime in a glass. It has a pale salmon-pink color, and a lively nose of watermelon candy, red cherries, red current and rose water. It’s medium bodied, and it has that vibrancy that has you coming back for more.  It also has a great finish that makes it incredibly easy to drink, for everyone.

2014 Overlook Chardonnay

Landmark Vineyards, $15.98

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This wonderful Sonoma wine features notes of Meyer lemon tarte, marzipan, toasted almonds, Asian pear, honeysuckle and a hint of Tahitian vanilla on the nose. On the palate, notes of apricot, clover honey and toast are in perfect balance with zippy acidity and bright minerality.

2016 Arriviste

Blackbird Vineyards, $28

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I can’t get enough of this elegant, salmon-pink colored rosé of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

On the nose, it has a mélange of aromas of strawberry and stone fruit come together with light floral notes. The wine has flavors of blackcurrants, crisp red apple and citrus on the mid-palate, carrying clean minerality and bright acidity on the lingering finish. While the 2016 Napa Valley growing season saw near-optimal conditions, it allowed for an abundance of perfectly-ripe grapes with a smooth balance of acids and sugars, producing this spectacular rosé.

Laurent Reverdy Sancerre

Trader Joe's, $12.99

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Trader Joe’s brings us a really, really good Sauvignon Blanc that’s produced in the Sancerre region in France.  This region is known for its rich, limestone soil, which helps it produce such reputable wines. 

This white wine is crisp and well-balanced, with intense citrus fruit notes, along with hints of peach, pear, and lychee. 

2013 Qupe Marsanne

Santa Ynez, $15.99

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Santa Ynez is magical.  It was actually the first place I’ve ever tasted wine. The Qupe Marsanne is a fresh white wine, with minerals and citrus and that classic peach pit and wet stone character.  It’s medium bodied, and perfectly balanced.

Featured image, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

AERIN x Williams-Sonoma; The 5 Pieces I Just Had To Have

Incorporating this gorgeous new collection into my every day life
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

Blue Ginger Jar Champagne Bucket, AERIN x Williams-Sonoma | waitingonmartha.com AERIN by Williams-Sonoma collection, Waiting on Martha Waiting on Martha entertaining inspiration Ginger jar champagne bucket, Waiting on Martha

While I love to highlight the beautiful here on the blog, and nothing gets me like a perfectly set tabletop, I’ll tell you that so much of my life isn’t centered around a formal meal or tablescape.  Rather, in real life, everything seems to happen spur-of-the-moment.  And I think that’s why I love the new AERIN x Williams-Sonoma collection so much; the pieces are perfect for both a sit-down dinner party but fit in just as easily into simple everyday entertaining. 

Truthfully, Aerin had me at ginger jar champagne bucket.  But aside from the obvious ginger jar champagne bucket and tabletop choices like the spectacular blue and white glassware and woven pieces, the collection includes so many giftable finds and home accents that are the perfect combination of classic, modern and feminine.  Think gold scalloped photo frames, floral artwork like this stunning concrete relief on a stand and these framed prints, trinket dishes and so much more.  In fact, perhaps one of my favorite details of so many pieces in the collection is that they come with a pretty box that’s ready to gift.  So if you have a baby shower, bridal shower, engagement party or are still looking for a Mother’s Day gift, you’ll find dozens of gorgeous finds in the collection.  I grabbed a few of her trinket dishes; so lovely and only $35!  

But don’t take my word for it.  TOMORROW at the stunning new Williams-Sonoma store at The Avalon here in Atlanta I’ll be hosting an event celebrating the collection from 7-8:30.  I hope you’ll join me and come out to celebrate the AERIN x Williams-Sonoms home collection for yourself.  I know the pieces will sweep you off your feet too.  Truly, MKR

P.S. Comment below or message me on Instagram if I’ll be seeing you tomorrow night at the store.  Believe me friends, this collection is something you’ll want to get your hands on.  And of course, I’d love to gush over all things blue and white and beautiful with you!  xo

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AERIN Ginger Jar Champagne Bucket

Williams-Sonoma, $159.95

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This is no dinky champagne bucket; this thing can fit 2-3 bottles of wine!  Not only is it absolutely stunning in its design, it’s functional and just the thing you need for a night entertaining al fresco. 

AERIN Potted Floral Arrangement, Rose

Williams-Sonoma, $95

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Aren’t these hand cast porcelain sculptures stunning?!  They’re the perfect accent for a coffee table, desk or bookshelf. 

AERIN White Link Pitcher

Williams-Sonoma, $89.95

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I am such a fan of this earthenware pitcher, with its hand-polished white glaze finish and link detailing. I love using a pitcher like this to display fresh flowers, though it would work wonderfully in a traditional sense, too! 

AERIN Gilded Bamboo Gallery Frame

Williams-Sonoma, $70

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I can never say no to a bamboo motif, so I fell in love with these gallery frames the second I saw them.  The gorgeous gold lacquer is simply timeless and the white matte instantly elevates whatever’s featured inside. 

AERIN Sea Blue Floral Salad Plates

Williams-Sonoma, $51.95

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Blue and white forever, am I right?!  I will always adore a tabletop that has blue and white pattern play.  The AERIN collection is full of beautiful dinnerware designs that can be set apart or together for a truly wonderful effect.  The drinkware, just like the dinnerware, is something to keep in your entertaining arsenal too.  It’s all just so good! 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

How To Easily Pack For a Picnic; Plus Homemade Pimento Cheese & Mediterranean Mason Jar Salads

My go-to's for an afternoon in the park
Filed Under > Appetizers & Sides

How to pack for a picnic, waitingonmartha.comPicnic outfit inspiration on waitingonmartha.comMason Jar Salads on a Picnic with @waitingonmarthaHow to plan a picnic in the park, waitingonmartha.comEasy pimento cheese recipe for a picnic, waitingonmartha.com How to make mason jar salads for a picnic, waitingonmartha.com Mason Jar Salads for a Picnic in the Park, Waiting on Martha How to pack for a picnic in the park, Waiting on Martha

Friday I shared a picnic-ready outfit, along with peek at my ideal day off: an afternoon visit to the farmers market, followed by a picnic in the park.  It’s one of my favorite things to do when I have a little free time with the Mr., and always a sign that spring is finally upon us. As promised, I’m sharing a few of my go-to picnic essentials, along with two super simple recipes that I like to pack in my picnic basket, neither that sacrifice flavor or a gourmet effect: my Homemade Pimento Cheese & Mediterranean-inspired Mason Jar Salads.

Whenever I’m packing for a picnic, I always make sure I have the following: a big blanket, a great picnic basket, portable tunes and easy food.  Nobody has time to deal with messy, high-maintenance bites when you’re camped out on your favorite blanket in the grass!  So today I’m dishing on the recipes for said easy food. 

First off, with your pimento cheese, and I’m just going to come out and say it: don’t ever use the pre-shredded cheese for your homemade pimento cheese. It’s just not ever going to taste as good as the stuff you buy by the block and shred yourself.  You’ll get a much creamier and more satisfying spread when you do it the right way. And I like my pimento cheese a bit chunkier, so I stay away from processing/blending it so that I can see the cheese and peppers with each bite.  Of course, if you like yours creamier (which is just as heavenly), take it a step further and throw the mixture into a food processor until you reach your desired consistency. I also love to use Vegenaise (vegan mayo) in place of traditional mayo, though I know all southerners will tell you that Duke’s is the only way to go. 

For the Mason Jar Salads, I went with a Mediterranean vibe; a tangy balsamic vinaigrette (I used store-bought, but you definitely can make your own) with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cooked orzo, greens & more. The trick with any good Mason Jar Salad is to layer the ingredients in your jars (I love this set with clamp lids) so that the salad doesn’t’ get soggy or begin to wilt when in transit.  You do that by always, always putting the salad dressing at the bottom of the jar. Then, you’ll put whatever ingredients won’t get soggy from being in contact with the dressing (think tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, etc.)…bottom line is you don’t want the greens to be next to the dressing. 

You can have fun with Mason Jar Salads; the possibilities are truly endless!  Find my current go-to combination, along with my recipe for the best homemade pimento cheese below.  I’d love to know how you’re shaping up your picnic plans in the comments below!  Truly, MKR

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Homemade Pimento Cheese & Mediterranean Mason Jar Salad

Ingredients

  • Pimento Cheese
  • 1 block of yellow sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 block of white mont jack, shredded
  • 3 large spoonfuls of mayonnaise, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 chopped jalapeno (optional)
  • dash of cayenne (optional) 
  • Mediterranean Mason Jar Salad
  • balsamic vinaigrette, to taste
  • cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • red onions, sliced thinly
  • cucumbers, sliced thinly
  • edamame, cooked and shelled
  • almonds, raw and unsalted
  • cranberries
  • cooked orzo
  • lettuce (I used baby kale, mixed greens mix)
  • micro green mix

Instructions

  1. Pimento Cheese
  2. Add all ingredients in mixing bowl. When adding the jar of pimentos, eyeball this with how creamy/chunky you want it.
  3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and serve!
  4. Mediterranean Mason Jar Salad
  5. Stack your ingredients inside the Mason jar in the following order:
  6. balsamic vinaigrette
  7. cherry tomatoes
  8. red onions
  9. cucumbers
  10. edamame
  11. almonds
  12. cranberries
  13. cooked orzo
  14. lettuce
  15. micro green mix
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