An Evening in the Garden – a Summer Wine & Cheese Party

Today we’re celebrating the season with one of our favorite ways of entertaining, a summer wine and cheese party! In this post we’ll show you how to create an easy but elegant evening for friends.

Summer entertaining. Two of my favorite words – and they’re especially good when strung together, don’t you think?!

There’s something so special about summer. Picnics. Beach days. Squeaky screen doors. Sandy feet.

And for me? Another one of the best parts of summer is spending an evening eating outdoors with good friends. And today, in honor of that summer ritual, I’m sharing a casual evening in the garden. A summer wine and cheese party. Which for me, is probably the single best party there is!



summer wine and cheese party in the garden farmhouse table wicker chairs

I often say that a cheese or charcuterie board is my favorite dinner, and that’s actually true! Give me some delicious cheese, good bread, and some wine, and I’m happy! And the best part?

A wine and cheese party is one of the easiest and most elegant parties to throw together! 


wine and cheese party in the garden outdoor entertaining

I set up the table on the grass in the yard which set the tone for the whole tablescape. Eating out under the sky feels different – and so special!


floral centerpiece in antique bucket white hydrangeas french farmhouse table

summer tablescape rattan chargers floral runner

I wanted to create a “dinner in the garden” feel for this wine and cheese party, so I chose a pretty floral runner which set the tone for the whole table! Mine is old and no longer available, but I found this one that would give a similar look – and it’s even prettier!

I love the French striped napkins in a soft blue. They coordinate well without being too matchy-matchy. Or a pretty linen solid would also be beautiful!


mint green plate over rattan charger and votive candles

These pretty blue salad plates work well with the soft colors in the runner. I layered them on top of the same plates in white, and placed everything on seagrass chargers. I love that the chargers keep it casual and add some great texture to the table.


wine and cheese party in the garden wickers chairs farmhouse table backyard entertaining

Different choices of wines – from rosé, to white, to red, allow guests to choose what they like. And maybe try something new, too!


wine and cheese platter board with bread cheese grapes and candles

For the cheese board, I usually use my giant wood cutting board. It’s quite large and can hold a lot of all the different elements. Sometimes I’ll mix up cheeses and use different ones on smaller vintage bread boards, but this time I piled everything on one massive board.

I like to offer at least three cheese selections. Here I chose one blue, one goat, and one cow’s milk cheese. 


wine and cheese party in the garden summer night entertaining

Add some nuts, grapes, olives, or other fruits or savory items to round out the board. And I always add a couple of different crackers, along with a fresh baguette.


summer tablescape with wine and floral centerpiece

And these glasses are acrylic! I know this sounds odd, but I’ve never had plastic glasses before. And it seems every time we sit outside we’re either breaking a wine glass, or worrying about doing so! But now, I found these truly beautiful acrylic glasses that look as pretty on the table as their glass counterparts!

We have both the red and white sizes, but you could easily get away with one.


wine and candles with flowers in galvanized antique bucket summer entertaining table setting

The flowers have a relaxed, unstructured feel to go with the casualness of the evening. White hydrangeas mixed with white chamomile, along with a pop of light and dark pinks and some eucalyptus all plopped into a vintage bucket create a French farmhouse vibe.

But really, any simple flowers would work. You could even simply cut some from the garden! It’s all about the good conversation, and of course, those delicious wines and cheeses!


summer wine and cheese party with candles and flowers floral runner

I wanted lots of candlelight, but I didn’t want to block the view or the conversations. These glass votive candles are economical and perfect for what I wanted. Layer lots of them to bring in some summer magic!


wine and cheese party candles flowers summer tablescape

As the sun sets, the mood lightens, and everyone relaxes even further. 


cozy stone fire pit with adirondack chairs summer entertaining ideas

We often move over to the fire pit after dinner to enjoy dessert or in the summer, sometimes s’mores. If you don’t have a built in fire pit, there lots of affordable options now for portable versions – some even have builtin tables!

Or, simply move to the lounge area and have some outdoor blankets nearby, or a portable heater. We just purchased this one last year and it’s a game-changer for sure!


wine at the fire pit summer evening entertaining

It doesn’t get much better than spending time with friends under the stars!


Shop the Wine & Cheese Party


If you’re looking for more summer entertaining ideas, be sure to click on the Summer Tablescapes tab where you can find lots of ideas!


Happy Summer!


summer wine and cheese party graphic on Maison de Cinq


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out some of my other summer entertaining ideas below!

Charming & Cheerful Summer Table Setting

How to Host a Summer Wine & Cheese Party

Romantic Summer Table Setting with Pink Peonies



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  1. Martha Mahlke says:

    I’d love to hear about your outdoor heater. We just bought a beautiful outdoor dining set and I intend to live outside all year on our new deck, lol! What type of heater did you get and do you have any recommendations or tips? You are so clever and I love your blog!

    1. Hi Martha! I’m happy to share – it seriously changed my life! Even here in So Cal the nights can be quite cool and this has made it so we can stay outside all evening! This is the one we bought,
      and we’ve been very happy with it! It’s propane so you simply go to a hardware store and have the tank refilled when it gets low. That’s about it!

      Hope that helps!

  2. Eeautiful and relaxing for sure. You must live in a nice climate to enjoy the fire pit and blankets. I love a good wine/cheese party as well and your back drop is gorgeous. I live in Tampa so I have to either set up mine inside or wait until November. Also I love the acrylic glasses, I will be ordering those as well.

    1. Hi Emily and thank you for the nice comment! I live in Southern California so we do have nice weather most months, though there are summer nights where it’s too hot to use the fire pit! Thanks so much for stopping by!


  3. Would you please provide the source for your beautiful wicker chairs? Thanks!

    1. Hi there! the chairs were from World Market but are since discontinued. However, I have sourced similar ones in the post. The best are actual outside chairs (mine were not made for the outdoors and are showing a lot of wear) that are also from World Market. You can find them here:

      They are about what I paid for indoor chairs! Same color and much more durable. Hope that helps!


  4. Wow, I love this!! Can’t wait to read your next blog post – you have great style!!

  5. This is all so beautiful Sheila! I love your table with the pretty linens and place settings. It looks like the makings of the perfect night with friends!

    1. Thanks so much Lisa!! Wish you were here to enjoy it my friend!!