Ever since we announced the Style Your Summer contest and asked all of you to dream up your perfect summer party, I’ve suddenly been asking myself the same question: out of all the beautiful color palettes and creative concepts out there, what type of party would I choose as my very favorite? I think I’ve finally settled on a Dinner in the Vineyard – a long communal table nestled among the grapes, farm-to-table fare served family style for sharing and of course, crisp summery wines to savor as the sun sets and the vines are illuminated in the pink glow of dusk. Adam and I have taken a few trips to Napa over the last few years, and the chefs and vinters there never fail to inspire me every bit as much as the stunning setting. When I’m hosting a dinner party at home, I often find myself trying to capture the fresh, seasonal flavors I’ve experienced on those trips, and there’s no doubt that California wine country has seduced this Texas girl and deeply influenced the way I approach entertaining. Can’t wait to unveil lots more wine country inspiration this week, including a wine & cheese pairings party at my house, as we count down to the deadline for all your Style Your Summer submissions!

*images: {row 1} jeremy fenske for outstanding in the field, in the little red house, aneta mak via once wed {row 2} jessica lorren via snippet & ink, scott clark photo via 100 layer cake {row 3} aneta mak via once wedjessica lorren via snippet & ink, nancy neil photography via once wed {row 4} aneta mak via once wedanna wolfaneta mak via once wed, source unknown.

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