Summer Wines

It’s summertime! Which means turn on the grill and hang out, right? But what if you want wine to go with it? Summer grilling usually means lots of protein and lots of sauces. How do you figure out how to pair a good wine with so many options?

When deciding which wine to pair with something straight from the grill, you want to consider how hearty the food is and what is the dominant flavor. Lighter foods, such as white-fleshed fish, veggies, or chicken breasts, oftentimes go with lighter wines. While heartier foods, such as steaks or burgers, pair better with a more robust wine. Identifying what the dominant flavor is for your food can help you determine which flavors in your wine will compliment the best.

However, there is no specific science to pairing wine with food. Win is high in acidity. This tends to help refresh the palate. A lot of red wines also have fat-cutting tannins in them. With a huge assortment, have fun playing with different pairs! I have listed a few different wines that are awesome for the summer and also won’t kill your wallet.

White & Rosé Wines

2020 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Experience a combination of brash lime, herb, and tropical flavors for only $17 a bottle.

2020 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé

With flavors containing juicy melon, berry, and orange-zest, this bottle goes for $18.

2020 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Made with Organic Grapes Reserva

This wine smells similar to a spicy margarita! If you’re into that, you can pick it up for $12 a bottle.

2020 J Lohr Arroyo Seco Sauvignon Blanc Flume Crossing

This wine has sweeter melon and ripe citrus flavors and costs only $14.

2020 Cousiño Macul Isidora Sauvignon Gris

This is a white wine with a little more body and spice being from Chile. You can take it home for $15 a bottle.

Red Wines

2019 Layer Cake California Cabernet Sauvignon

This red wine has luscious blackberry flavors with a gentle cedar note for only $14 a bottle.

2019 Selvapiana Chianti Rùfina

You’ll love this red wine that is well-balanced with ripe fruit and floral notes. Check it out for $18.

2018 Masciarelli Montepulciano di Abruzzo

This wine is thankfully easy to come by and is loved by many with its red fruit and peppery flavors. Find it for only $12 a bottle.

2018 Codirosso Chianti

For $13, you’ll definitely want to check out this wine with a soft texture and intricate flavors.

2019 Pavette California Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir has great toasted spice aromatics and bright, ripe red-cherry flavors. It might become a staple in your home for only $12.


If you don’t see your favorite summer wine listed, comment below!

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Wedding Must Haves

Must Haves for Wedding Planning

With the world opening back up again, wedding season is coming back in full swing! Here are 10 must haves for a successful wedding plan!

1. Budget Cushion

Budgeting for a wedding is super important to be able to accurately plan. But sometimes unexpected expenses still occur. Make sure you set aside a set amount of money within your budget to solely be for the unexpected. If it goes unspent, then that’s a little extra for the honeymoon!


2. Separate. Email. Address.

From bridal shows, to registry information, to vendors, and anything in between, having a separate email address to funnel all the information to is one of the best tricks! It can even match your wedding website if you create one. Once the wedding is done, you don’t have to worry about future emails spamming your personal inbox!


3. Attire Time

Clothes are always tricky, but with special occasions such as weddings, you want to make sure everything fits like a glove! Make sure you allow for plenty of time between finding your perfect wedding outfit, needing to assess and confirm alterations, and the big day. In most instances, it’s good to start searching for wedding dresses 9-12 months prior to the big day and having your first fitting scheduled at least 3 months before show time.


4. Vendor Information

In this technological day and age, our smartphones rarely leave our sides. Keeping a live document like Google sheets filled with your vendors’ contact information is great for on the go needs. You can also include organization columns in the document to track how much the vendor costs and how much has already been paid (and how much you’re thinking about tipping – see #7 on the list)!


5. RSVP Tracking Plan

It is standard practice to expect that not all RSVPs will be submitted correctly. Some guests will even forget to include their names. A trick that I have seen and love is to number the back of the RSVP cards and match it to an excel or Google sheets document that has the guest information.


6. Weather Watch

Everyone knows to have a plan B in place in case of the dreadful “R” word (you know, rain). But what a lot of people don’t think to research is the timing of the sunset. If you are holding a late afternoon/early evening wedding, make sure to note the time of the sunset that day. Your photographer will be grateful that you prepared that information to help coordinate. If you’re holding an outside celebration, having your photographer take sunset photos might be an amazing plan, as well!


7. Vendor Tips and Gratuities

You have paid for the price of services for your big day, but also remember tips and gratuities are not included. This goes for services such as catering, the DJ, etc. The best way to not stress about tipping on the big day is to calculate those amounts ahead of time. I love the idea of pulling cash out beforehand and placing each planned amount into specific labeled envelopes. On the big day, you can task a member of your bridal party or family to hand the envelopes out accordingly!


8. Nice Hangers

A lot of people forget to bring aesthetically pleasing hangers to the wedding location. However, photographers love to get shots of the wedding dress hanging on its own! If you want photos of the bridesmaids’ dresses alongside the wedding dress as well, nice, uniform hangers would make the picture that much better!


9. Emergency Kit

A lot of people remember the wedding-day emergency kit for the bride, but most forget about having one for the groom! Bandaids, Tums, etc. go a long way for both parties getting married. Make sure the maid/matron of honor and the best man remember to pack these so you’re not stressing over it!


10. Comfy. Shoes.

This goes for both parties standing up at the altar. Your ceremony shoes might look so stylish, but style doesn’t always equate to comfort. Make sure to include a pair of shoes that won’t make your feet cry after dancing the night away!


What are other ideas that you believe are wedding must haves? Comment below!


If you are not following me on Instagram, you can find me here. And if you would like updates on everything that’s going on with both my romance books and my children’s book series, sign up for my newsletters!