Cheaper By the Dozen: Buying Wine for a Crowd

October 26, 2009 | By | Comments (0)

Tagine 007

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

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


4 guests per bottle.
(To slow down the flow of wine at
a dinner party make sure there is water on the table so the guests have
something to sip on besides vino.)


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

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

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

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


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