October 26, 2009


One of the most common questions I'masked is, "I'm having a party. How much wine should I buy?" And withentertaining season approaching, I thought it was the perfect time to talkabout wine for a crowd.

Here is an average guide of how muchwine to buy for a dinner party and a cocktail party. One (750mL) bottle of wineyields about 5 glasses of wine.

Dinnerparty:4 guests per bottle. (To slow down the flow of wine ata dinner party make sure there is water on the table so the guests havesomething to sip on besides vino.)

Cocktailparty:2 guests per bottle for a four-hour party; for an afternoon party plan on 3guests per bottle. (When guests serve themselves you’ll be amazed at how fastthe wine goes.) If you really don’t want to be caught running out, plan on 1bottle per person (and then you can enjoy any leftover wine yourself!).

If you knowyour crowd, then buy according to taste. But if you’re planning to drink withunknowns, plan on more people drinking white than red. Generally it’s 60/40white to red, but again, it depends on if you’re serving roast lamb or grilled fish or hosting an appetizer and wine party.

            Twotips to remember before you hit the wine store:  If you’re having more than 6 guests, thinkabout buying by the case. You’ll save at least 10 percent in most wine stores. Andremember, it’s always better to have too much than too little; nothing kills aparty faster than the booze running out.

         Finally, one other question peopleoften ask: Do you have to serve the bottle of wine that you got as a hostessgift? In a word, no. It’s a gift, not a demand. If it goes with the meal, thenopen it up. But if it’s something special that you want to savor or it justdoesn’t fit the party or the menu, smile, say thank you, and stash it in thepantry.

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