Entertaining and Wine: How Much Do I Really Need?

wine&entertainingHard to believe, but the holiday season is right around the corner. As soon as the Halloween products are removed from the shelves of your local supermarkets and drug stores, they’ll be replaced by Thanksgiving and, yes, Christmas items.

If you plan to host a holiday gathering or two — whether it’s on Turkey Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve or some other day — you’re going to need some wine. How much? That depends.

If you’re planning a sit-down dinner — which, in many households these days, may be the only sit-down dinner of the entire year — a good rule of thumb would be to allot two glasses of wine per adult guest. That works out to about one bottle for each two guests.

For a walk-around party, at which you take more of a “tapas” approach with the food, you may want to create a “wine buffet” that mirrors the food buffet.

As long as you know that each group of people at the party has a designated driver, you can simply open a number of bottles and let the guests have at ’em.

To make it more fun, you could place a card next to each bottle with a brief description — “semi-sweet white,” “dry red,” etc. — and a recommended pairing partner from the food buffet.

With this type of approach, you’ll need more wine. Plan on two bottles for every three guests, and also plan to have some wine left over. (That means selecting wines that you wouldn’t mind “finishing off” over the next few days,)

During the holidays, law enforcement is on the lookout for impaired drivers, and rightly so. That’s why I suggest not serving any hard liquor, and sticking strictly to wine because of its lower alcohol level.

For guests who say they don’t like wine, have a few sweet selections available, or prepare a bowl of sangria with your favorite red or white wine.

The goal is to entertainment without impairing, and to enjoy an array of wines. Now that you’ll know how much you’ll need, planning those holiday gatherings should be a lot more fun.

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Posted in Wine Buzz
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