It can be tricky for a first-time or novice party planner to serve wine at an event or celebration. There are certain points of etiquette to follow and some rules that guests will expect to be observed. As well, simply ensuring that you have the right amount and varieties of wine can be a daunting task. A few pointers are always helpful to get people started in deciding what wines to purchase and serve.
The Question of How Much
Professional caterers and event planners recommend one drink per guest per hour for an evening event. While afternoon events tend to see less alcohol consumption, most event planners will buy nearly the same amount of wine for an afternoon event as an evening one. If the event includes overnight accommodations, guests tend to drink more. For these events it is best to plan for two drinks per guest per hour.
A bottle of wine contains about 7.7 standard drinks. However, a wine glass holds between 1.5 and 1.8 standard drinks. Guests are likely to consume more than one standard drink per glass. Therefore, plan for five glasses of wine per bottle and always buy a few extra bottles, just in case.
What to Serve When
There are certain rules well known in the hospitality industry when it comes to serving wine. First and foremost, the wine should be paired with the food. For example, chardonnays balance out creamy sauces and fatty fish, while pinot grigio is your wine of choice for lighter and more delicate fish flavours. Finding the right wine involves some research for your specific menu, but it will be a hit when you get it right.
Second, ensure that the types of wines are served in the correct glasses. Stemware comes in all shapes and sizes. There are red wine glasses, white wine glasses, dessert wine glasses, sparkling wine glasses, and even a miscellaneous category. If you change the variety of wine served throughout an event, the glassware should change as well.
Finally, have fun with your choices. True, this is not exactly a rule, but wine should be enjoyed and appreciated. Oftentimes, the simple joy of drinking wine and savouring its unique flavours becomes lost amongst the careful consideration and tactical decision-making. If there is a wine you really love, it should be shared with your guests.
Where to Purchase the Wine
If you are unable to decide on the right wine for your dinner party or you need multiple varieties for a larger gathering, look for wine deals that include a range of wines. This is a great way to serve wines that satisfy different palates and takes the guesswork out of how to please your guests. Alternatively, you may need many bottles of a single variety, and there are deals on bundling the same variety as well.
As well, it can be cost-effective to look for wine bundles as purchasing multiple bottles will typically result in a larger discount. Often these discounts are even available on bundled wine baskets and combinations through online retailers. Spend enough, and these e-businesses will often provide delivery for free. Thus, buying wine for an event can be cost-effective and convenient.