Planning on having wine at your next party or event? Here are a few tips to help you skip the “whine” and enjoy the “wine”!
First, decide if you want to use the wine list provided by your caterer or you want to choose your own wines (if allowed). Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the wines on the caterer’s list. If you are really undecided, the caterer may let you try some or give you the wine names so you can try them at home before making a final decision. Keep in mind that if you decide you want to choose wines not on the list, caterers will often charge a fee to obtain and/or serve the wine.
Second, decide what types of wines to serve. You can pick wines that pair well with the food you’re serving or simply your favorite wines. If you decide not to serve wine with dinner, you can offer it during cocktail hour and afterwards with dessert. Is your event in the summer or winter? Guests tend to drink more red wine in the colder months and sip more whites in the summer.
Third, calculate how much wine you will need. If you’re sourcing it through a caterer, they will probably help you figure out this number. If you’re supplying the wine yourself, there are several factors to take into consideration. What time of day is your event (guests tend to drink more in the evening)? Are you serving any other drinks besides wine (are your guests a mix of beer and wine drinkers)? A general rule of thumb is to assume guests will consume one drink per hour. For example, 40 guests + 4 hours = 2-3 cases of wine (estimating you will pour 5 – 5 oz glasses per 750 ml bottle).
Last, have fun! You want your guests to have a good time at your party, so why not make the wine fun too. Here are a few fun and useful ideas if your party turns into a wine-themed party!
Cover all the bottles with numbered bags and give guests cards to write down their guesses about each wine. They can guess the region, year and grape. Have a prize (like these fun wine cork flash drives!) for whoever gets the most correct.
Give each guest a notepad or cards to write notes about which wines they liked and didn’t like. At the end of the night, have a raffle where guests can win a bottle of their favorite wine that night to take home.
Serve desserts with your wines or different cheeses. Have signs to explain which wine pairs with which food and why.
Need an easy way to remember your glass? Use colored sharpie markers to write guests’ names on the bottom of the wine glasses. It will wash right off at the end of the night!