If you are having a party at which you will be serving wine, it is important to know how much and what type of wine to buy beforehand. The amount of wine you will need depends on how many drinking adults you have invited, and how much wine you want them to drink. You must also consider how people are going to get to your party. You do not want your guests to be driving home intoxicated. Also, the type of wine you will need to buy depends on what you will be serving at dinner and whether you will be toasting some occasion with champagne.
When preparing for your party you will want to make a guest list. Usually guests will be people you know to some degree, but if you only know people slightly it is probably best to assume they will want to share in the wine. Count the number of drinking adults on your list. Next, determine how long your party will last. To keep people under the legal limit for drunk driving allow two eight ounce glasses of wine per hour. Multiply the number of drinkers by the length in hours of your party, then again by two for the number of glasses they are drinking, then by eight for the total ounces of wine. Take this total ounces of wine and divide by 25, the number of ounces in a bottle of wine, then round up to get the number of bottles of wine you will need for your party. If that math is intimidating, just buy one bottle of wine for each guest if your party is approximately four hours.
The next thing to do is put together your wine list. In general, if you are serving red meat like beef, you will want red wine. Seafood and poultry goes with white wine. These are just general rules and there will always be some people who prefer either red or white wine regardless of what food is served. If you are having champagne for a toast, allow one glass for each drinker, unless you are feeling generous and want to allow a refill. Figure out how much champagne you will need by using the number of drinkers times the number of glasses you want to serve for your toast. Add this to the wine list. Take the total bottles of wine you figured out for the party and divide this equally between bottles of white and red wine so that your guests can have what they prefer.
Wine varies greatly in quality and price. You can pay anywhere from two dollars a bottle to many hundreds. The budget for your party will determine what wines you will buy. If you have invited a lot of guests and your budget is low, you will have to go with more economic choices for your wine list. Champagne can range from five dollars a bottle on up. The cheaper varieties of wine and champagne are unremarkable but drinkable. High priced wines may not impress your guests if they are not aficionados of the vine. Consider the people you have invited to your party, are they family, friends, co-workers? Do these people collect wines? Are they just social drinkers who like a glass to go with food? The wines you choose will say something about you as well. The best way to be sure is to get a single bottle of the wine you plan to serve and try it out. This way you will be sure to serve something acceptable at your party.
If you plan to have wine at your party, know in advance how much and what varieties you want to serve. Consider your guests and their preferences. Have some idea of how many people are likely to attend. Make sure that any guests who become intoxicated have a ride home and are not driving. Check out the wine you plan to serve before you make a volume purchase to be sure it is acceptable. Coordinate your wine list with the foods you plan to serve. Allow for differences in taste for different guests. Wine does not have to be something mysterious or intimidating. Good wine makes a pleasant accompaniment to a meal and can make your party a memorable event.
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