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Enjoy This Guide of our Favorite Tips for a Successful Summer Staycation!

Summer is the perfect time to flex your hosting wings and get all your friends together for a staycation, backyard party, or celebration! To help all of our hosting newbies and pros alike, we have put together a small guide of our favorite tips for a successful event!

Step 1: Drinks

What you need: It’s always best to have a few options of drinks available; a few local beers, white wine, red wine, some non-alcoholic options like La Croix or sodas, and a signature drink if you’re feeling fancy!

How much: For a party where a meal will be served, we recommend having one bottle of wine for every two guests, three beers for each guest, and two non-alcoholic options per guest (more if there are under 21s in attendance). As with most things, you can adjust these numbers if you know you have more beer or wine drinking friends.

How to serve it: If you feel like offering a fun cocktail, we have two recipe options that we think will be winners. Depending on your crowd (and the heat), we have a lighter drink recipe and one with a little more kick!

Strawberry Rhubarb Spritz
The best summer flavors make this pitcher drink the perfect sipper for hot summer days! Features our 2022 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris.

Makes 8 servings

The night before prep the base of this spritz by tossing the sliced strawberries and rhubarb with a ½ cup of sugar. Right before your guests arrive, pour half the fruit mixture into a large pitcher with ice and one sliced lemon. Add half the bottle of Pinot Gris and top the rest of the way with seltzer. Make sure everyone gets plenty of fruit in their glass and serve with a fun straw! We always find this drink is a hit, which is why it’s so nice to have the other half of the recipe waiting in the fridge, so you have a chilled, fresh batch for when everyone is ready for another glass!

Blackberry Sunset
Release your inner mixologist with this bright, but strong, summer cocktail. Try with our 2020 Redland Pinot Noir.

Makes 6 servings

  • 2 cups of blackberries, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Whisky of your choice
  • A bright Pinot Noir like our 2020 Redland Pinot Noir
  • Ginger ale

The night before you can prep parts of the cocktail to make your life easier the day of. Juice your lemons in advance and store in a small jar. Muddle together the blackberries and sugar, then simmer the fruit mixture on the stove for 10 minutes or until all the sugar is dissolved. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jar (and don’t forget to press all the juices out of the berries while straining) and refrigerate. Before your guests arrive, prep small skewers of lemon slices and blackberries for garnish.

To serve, add the following to a cocktail shaker:

  • Ice
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz blackberry syrup
  • 1 oz whiskey
  • 2 oz Pinot Noir

Shake well and strain into a glass with fresh ice, top with ginger ale and garnish with a lemon-blackberry skewer. Cheers!

Step 2: Food

A good BBQ is usually a potluck, but the host gets to take on the grilling! For anyone who is new to grilling, we highly recommend investing in a Bluetooth meat thermometer to take all the worry out of grilling and you can guarantee that your meat will be served perfectly done!

Snack Mix
Guests love having something to snack on while you finish on the grill. This salty, spicy snack is perfect for munching on and can be easily adjusted to be dairy-free or gluten-free for any guest’s dietary restrictions because everybody loves a good snack!


  • 1 box of cereal* (plain and crunchy, like Cherrios or Chex)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 4 tbsp butter*
  • *Use Rice Chex and substitute the butter for a vegan option for a dairy-free, gluten-free recipe.

Melt the butter and mix all the dry spices into the butter. Pour over the cereal in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, stir the cereal on the pan and bake for another 5 minutes then let cool. Store in an airtight container and this recipe can be made up to 4 days in advance!

Dry Rub
Our culinary team shared this awesome dry rub recipe to impress the heck out of your grilling friends! Perfect for steaks, burgers, and pork on the grill, this blend will bring a nice, well-rounded savory addition to your meat dishes. We recommend pairing it with a red wine such as our 2021 Willamette Valley Gamay Noir or our bold 2018 Big Tree Block Pinot Noir.

Pro Tips!

  1. For very hot days, designate a red wine cooler with a small amount of ice to keep red wines at ‘cellar temperature’ (about 55F)
  2. Have ice kept in a separate bag so that people can add clean ice to their drinks if desired.
  3. Make sure to have plenty of water out and available. Water bottles or an obvious water station make it easier for everyone to stay hydrated and happy! And don’t forget a water bowl if you have any four legged friends coming.
  4. Have bug spray and sunscreen available to guests to use for any outdoor hangout!
  5. Have plenty of outdoor lighting ready if your party is going to run past sunset, citronella candles are a great 2-for-1 by providing intimate lighting and warding off unwelcome guests.
  6. Don’t forget to find a fun, upbeat playlist to set the mood, especially as guests are arriving!
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