November ushers in the seasonal party season. I love having a party. Always have and always will. I have thrown parties as far back as I can remember. From big slumber parties in grade school to high school keggers when my parents were out of town. Some of these parties have been legendary. But through the years I have learned a lot about hosting a party, particularly about how much wine you need for a party.
Don’t make your event too complicated. However, it does take planning to reduce stress and come off effortlessly. A common problem is determining how much wine to purchase for a cocktail or dinner party. Unless your guests are a group of guzzlers, there are some basic guidelines.
Think about how long your cocktail party will last. Plan on a half-bottle of wine per guest for every two hours they will be at the party. However, if you are serving other types of alcohol, or the event starts earlier than 6:00 p.m., you might need a half bottle of wine for every three hours. I have found that when my guests act as their own bartender the amount of wine consumed increases. Now if you own a winery like we do all these rules go out the wine cellar door.
For dinner parties, think about the number of courses and the different wines you will be pairing with each course. Typically, I serve my guests approximately 5 oz pours and at that rate a standard bottle of wine (750 ml) will serve five guests. Most guests that drink wine with dinner will drink 1 to 1 ½ glasses of wine per course.
If you are going to serve wine, pour it in a wine glass and not plastic. The glasses don’t have to be expensive but invest in glass. To encourage mingling set up the bar away from the front door so guests must move through the room to get a drink. And most importantly have fun. If you are having a good time your guests will too. So, open your house, plan, pop a cork, invite some friends, and party. It’s the season to celebrate.