The last few years I've noticed a trend where holiday parties are held in January. The idea is that this is a more sane time; you face less "competition" from the party circuit and you don't have to add party-planning to your already busy holiday season. For two reasons I wager this trend seems to have grown quite a bit more this year. First, the weather gods were at play across the country throughout much of December. Many of the traditionally planned parties had to be postponed because it wasn't safe for folks to travel. Second, more and more people are entertaining their friends, thinking this a cost-effective alternative to going out or exchanging gifts. (I can't help but wonder if in another couple of weeks there may even be a third reason: The Inauguration!) With all of these festivities abounding this January, I've fielded a flurry of questions about how much wine you should have on hand for an event - so much so I thought it worthy of a post! Here's the scoop:
If you are having a basic wine tasting event, where someone like me comes over to help you and your guests have fun while experiencing a series of wines, you'll only need to pour ~2 oz per person (of each wine). One 750ml bottle is equal to 50 oz. To cover your basic tasting needs then, the general "rule" is that 1 bottle will cover about 25 people. It's your call how much more you want to have on hand after the tasting is over. (A typical glass of wine is about 5-6 oz, or 1 bottle for every ~4 people.)
If you are having an all out fiesta, where wine alone will be flowing in typical glass pour sizes all evening, the equation many professionals use is: (# of people x 3)/5 = the number of bottles you'll need.
Of course, if you are having a party where wine will be just one option on offer, you have to consider the tastes of the people you are hosting and use your best judgment. If you don't know your group's preferences and plan to have beer, liquor and wine on offer, use the formula above to get a sense of how much wine might make sense.
No matter your party type or size, please be a responsible host! Make sure to have plenty of water available and cab numbers at the ready.
Will you be hosting or attending any soirees this January? Any particular reason for them?