Party Planning Wine

Wine Party Supplies

Use this handy guide to help calculate what wine party supplies you’ll need for your event.

How Much

Cocktail Parties

  • ½ bottle of wine/person for each 2-hour period. If your event begins before 5pm, or you are also serving liquor or beer: ½ bottle of wine/person per 3-hour period.
  • If guests will serve themselves, add 10% to your estimate.

Dinner Events

  • Plan on 1.5 glasses per course per person.
  • Each 750ml bottle will provide five 5-oz. servings.
  • For each course multiply (# of guests) x (1.5) / 5 = # of bottles you will need per course.


Cocktail Parties

  • Less than 3 hours: 1.5 glasses per person.
  • Over 3 hours: 2 glasses per person.
  • Self-Service for guests.
  • Offer a red, white and sparkling (if appropriate) for guests.

Dinner Events

For larger gatherings, rent glassware from a local party rentals shop. Arrange each place setting with separate red and white wine glasses, plus a water glass. For fine wine tastings, there is varietal-specific glassware available that will enhance each wine's specific character. Riedel is an excellent choice.

Choosing Wines

Cocktail Parties

  • Events before 5pm (or for outdoor events in warm weather): 70% white wine, 30% red wine.
  • Events after 5pm: 40% white wine, 60% red wine.

White Wine Choices

  • In general, Chardonnay is extremely popular, and also very versatile. Sparkling wines are also a terrific, food-friendly option.
  • On a warm day, you may also choose to serve a crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. If you are serving spicy foods, Riesling is a perfect pairing.
  • Fruity desserts and sweet appetizers pair wonderfully with white dessert wines such as icewines or Auslese/Beerenauslese Riesling.

Red Wine Choices

  • Pinot Noir is very versatile and an excellent red wine choice for warmer weather.
  • Merlot is a popular crowd pleaser because of its chocolate flavors and soft finish.
  • Zinfandel offers jammy fruit flavors that pair well with grilled foods.
  • Full-bodied wines like Meritage Red, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are recommended for pairing with beef, lamb, and other hearty main courses. Choose a port or port-style wine for after-dinner with strong cheeses or dark chocolate desserts.

Serve a Variety!

Merlots to Zinfandels, Chardonnays to Rieslings...we have them all! (and don’t forget the Champagne!)

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