How Much Wine Should You Buy for a Party?

How to Buy Wine for a Party

By Laura Fagan Published November 2021

Buying wine for your next party or event does not need to be a hassle or become an added stressor to your already full, hosting plate. For any event or party, it is important to have a well-stocked bar. Not only will it be anticipated by your guests, but it will elevate any celebration. That is where we come into help you pick the perfect amount of wine that fits your budget. Rachel Davis, ABC Concierge Account Representative, helps break down how to best stock and supply the bar at your next gathering.




Consider the Setting and the Season

Your wine selections should complement the setting of your party and the season. For an outdoor event, lean into lighter wine selections that will be refreshing and tasty – especially in Florida’s spring or summer months. Chilled pours of pinot grigio, or lighter-bodied white or red blends will both refresh and satisfy your guests. Rachel shares that sangria is another smart and stylish option. Indoor venues or fall or winter parties can feature more full-bodied, or boldly flavored, wines. A fruit-forward red wine, like ABC’s exclusive Octopoda Cabernet Franc, is table and taste friendly and likely to become your guests new go-to red wine.

Buy for the Number of Guests and Length of Service

You will not want your party guests to have empty glasses, but you also do not want an overly heavy bar. In general, you will want to plan to serve each guest two drinks for the first hour of your party and one per subsequent hour of the event. For example, a three-hour-long graduation party with 25 guests in attendance would be best served by 20 bottles. An estimated Concierge calculation would be: (25 guests x 2 drinks) first hour + (25 guests x 1 drink) second hour + (25 guests x 1 drink) third hour totals 100 glasses. Each 750mL wine bottle will serve 4-5 glasses depending on the number of ounces in each pour. Therefore, if you divide the number of glasses by 4 or 5 (number of glasses to a bottle) you can quickly calculate the number of bottles to buy. Champagne will be a bit different as flutes are slenderer. You will yield around 6 glasses of Champagne per bottle.

Guest Demographics

Avoid buying for individual guest preferences – instead, keep your selections geared toward the dominate generation. Meaning, for more mature guest lists consider traditional varietals like cabernet and chardonnay, whereas, younger guests may enjoy sweeter, or trending varietals like sparkling rosé or pinot gris.

Keep selections simple and crowd-pleasing – below are two party-day packages that Rachel recommends:

  1. One white wine, one red wine, and then a third selection - either a sweet wine, rosé or sparkling wine.

  2. Two red wines (one light and full-bodied choice), two white wines (one light and full bodied choice), and a fifth selection - like a prosecco, sparkling rosé, or moscato.

At-A-Glance Tips:

Keep Selections Simple – Do not linger on labels. If it is good wine, the brand is unimportant! Guests with glasses in hand is the goal. You may just be the host who introduces your guest to their new favorite drink!

Select Wines with Screw Caps – Corked wines can slow down service. Screw capped wines (also known as Stelvin system screw caps) make for swift pouring and do not indicate a lower quality wine. In fact, screw cap wines simply indicate they are ready-to-enjoy.

Go with Bigger Bottles1.5L, large format wines, are also a wonderful way to keep costs down for a party. This bottle size will yield 8 to 9 glasses of wine per bottle and are budget friendly option.

Shop ABC’s Sourced & Certified Collection - ABC’s own Vineyard Block Wine Estate Series is an ideal value option that feature flavors and finishes that will impress. With diverse varietals to choose from, at attractive prices, these wines are a great party or event option.

Chat with our in-store wine consultants - Unlike grocery chains, ABC stores have knowledgeable and friendly consultants that can assist you in store as well as an expert Concierge Team that offers a large score of services including – free planning consultations, discounts, delivery, and hassle-free returns.

Interested in learning more? Visit our ABC Blog page.