A Wine Strategy for the Big Football Games

football.jpgCongratulations! You’ve been asked to “do the wine” for a friend’s big football viewing event. And, in a moment of weakness, or perhaps sheer madness, you agreed.

So now what?

The first thing you need to know is that your life-organizing tool — be it an old-school handwritten journal or smartphone digital — is your friend. “Doing the wine” is all about organization — advance planning, check lists and follow-through.

There are some basic rules of thumb when it comes to choosing and buying wine for a party, a few asterisks to go with those rules, and a couple of things you might not think of considering… but should.

Here’s the first general rule of thumb: Assuming the party is going to last about three hours, plan on one bottle of wine for each two people attending. That works out to about two glasses per person.

And here’s the first asterisk: When adding up the number of attendees, count only adults of legal drinking age. (This is sort of like taking a political poll involving only those most likely to vote, as opposed to all registered voters.)

A second asterisk: Ask the host whether plans call for a full bar to be set up. If so, you’ll need less wine.

Once you have your “most likely to drink wine” count, you’ll easily be able to calculate the number of bottles needed. Even this mathematically challenged wine blogger can handle this task.

Next, it’s time to plug that number into your budget. This is where your wine knowledge will really come in handy, because it’s not always easy to identify true bargains in the marketplace — interesting, enjoyable bottlings that could and perhaps should cost more than they do.

If the budget is tight, turn to a couple more “rules of thumb”:

* Chardonnay is yummy, but Sauvignon Blanc can be every bit as enjoyable, sometimes at half the price.

* Cabernet Sauvignon may be the “king” of red wines, but Malbec is less expensive, and in a group that includes a good many casual wine drinkers, Malbec probably will be more popular.

Vinesse offers a number of great choices, and you can check them out here.

Here’s another consideration: Not knowing how many of the guests will be drinking wine, nor their personal preferences, how do you determine the wine mix?

We’ll tackle that challenge in our next blog.

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