With temperatures rising, it’s the perfect time to start planning your summer get-togethers. We partnered with entertaining expert, Maureen Petrosky, to develop five tips to get you through any occasion. From vintage games with friends to hosting your very own black and white movie night, Maureen has you covered.

Bar Cart Essentials

No need to be a bartender to make the most of that "magic" hour. Set up your bar cart or tray with the basics, including a conversation-starting wine that will get your guests talking – something different, like the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Barrel-Aged Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, are the perfect picks. Deck out your bar cart or bar area with an ice bucket, wine opener, fun cocktail napkins and one pre-batched cocktail and you're armed with the essentials when it's 5:00 somewhere.

Be Playful

Create a space where guests immediately feel at ease. Placing vintage games on tabletops invites everyone to have a little fun. By offering your friends easy-to-learn games like dominos, backgammon, chess and checkers, you can transform a blasé gathering into an afternoon filled with fun and laughter. It's remarkable seeing your guests (especially those who've never even met before) sit down to a table and start playing. And it's so fun to see some of your more quiet friends really get into the competitive spirit!

Serve the Unexpected - The Perfect White for Summer

When it’s warm we can’t help but reach for a great glass of white wine. Sometimes a white can be too light to stand up to some of our favorite summery menu items like a bold BBQ. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chardonnay is the perfect solution for this! It gives that magic twist to bring your backyard cookout something unexpected and refreshing.

Black & White Movie Night

From barefoot to black tie, using black and white as your color scheme is a no-fail approach for any host. We love the idea of a black and white movie night and tying that into every aspect of the evening, from linens and décor, to food and drink, and even your wardrobe. It’s as easy as cuing up a movie on your TV, or pulling a professional move and projecting a movie on an interior wall or on a white sheet strung up outside. The backdrop creates for a stylish set even a rookie entertainer can pull off with ease. It really elevates an everyday occasion to something special.

What's in Your Tote Bag

Spring and summer are perfectly suited for a picnic or party on the go. So here is our how-to pack the perfect tote bag for warm weather fun:
- Picnic blanket
- Portable wine glasses (use plastic or silicone for ease and no risk of breakage)
- Assorted artisanal smoked meat, pickled veggies, nuts and a block of fresh local cheese
- A bottle of chilled white wine—why not our Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chardonnay
- Homemade Jenga set—for a more fun and playful version, use your own Jenga set and write down an activity on each block. Each player must perform the activity listed on the block once it’s pulled.
- Get active! Get in some exercise and pack along games like smashball or Frisbee! Whether you toss a football with a friend or play with a larger group, beach-style games are perfect for when you get tired of laying out and a great way to involve everyone