Choosing wine for your event can get a little stressful, but here is the chance to slow down, pour yourself a glass of wine, and let’s go through the whole process in simple, stress-free steps. I know this as I am tea total and would never know what to serve for Christenings or other events.
Checking the quantities of wine needed is easy if you know your guests well, but if you are arranging an event for people you are not familiar with, here are some guidelines to assist you,
Step One is to establish how many people will be coming to your event and roughly the ages of your guests. This is important to get accurate figures because it will determine how much wine you will supply. The age distribution also provides some good guidelines, and the male/ female ratio offers additional guidance.
So put your glass down and start to make a list. Slot the guests into the following categories:
· Male/ female
· Forty plus/ under forty
Unless you are having a strict wine tasting event, the following generalizations will be your guide.
Males under forty will tend to drink beer or spirits, with only a minority drinking wine.
Most females, regardless of age, will tend to drink wine, with perhaps the exception of the low twenties group going for trending drinks.
For simplicity, let’s work on forty guests, equally divided into male/female and over forty/ under forty.
This means there will be twenty males, ten of whom will be over forty, and a similar figure for females.
We can disregard the beer-swilling ten males under forty and the females in the early twenties.
Let’s leave spirits out of calculation as well.
This means you will supply wine to fifty percent of the males and seventy-five percent of the females.
If you want to apply a general rule across the board, it would be close to sixty percent of your guests drinking wine, which is close to the catering standard adopted by the hospitality industry.
So now you have the number of guests, and from here on, it’s a simple sum. All you have to do is to multiply the number of guests identified as wine drinkers by the number of hours your event will last and work on two drinks per hour.
Returning to our example, sixty percent of forty guests equals twenty-four, and if they consume two drinks per hour, that makes forty-eight drinks per hour total times the number of hours for the event to last. Let’s say it’s an early evening event from four to nine, giving us five hours times forty-eight equals two-hundred and forty glasses of wine.
Rounded off means you will have to supply forty-eight bottles of wine given the ratio of five glasses per bottle. So, eight cases should do the trick, but to be safe, take ten cases.
So how much red and how much white is your next decision? Fortunately, industry guidelines offer some great hints. For example, in warm weather, go for sixty percent white, and in cold weather, go for sixty percent reds. It is as easy as that.
So now you have the quantities worked out, let’s look at some great wines that should be finding their way into your shopping basket.
Beginning with white wines, a light Chenin or Pinot Gris is always popular for people who like light wine.
Crisp and elegant with a delightful combination of acidity and vibrant fruit, this wine will delight your guests with its freshness and minerality. The grapes are hand harvested and fermented in stainless steel tanks before enjoying a couple of months on the lees to introduce a well-rounded, polished product.
This is a beautiful example of a clean and fresh Chenin with a balance of creaminess from barrel aging and new citrus tones softened with sweet tropical fruits. The grapes are sourced from the cooler slopes of this South African Vineyard, ensuring a distinct freshness to the wine.
A careful combination of seventy percent of the crop enjoying barrel fermentation and the remainder resting quietly in stainless steel tanks results in a delightful medium-bodied Chenin with a soothingly soft texture.
From the Danube region of Croatia comes this refreshingly light Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes are harvested a touch before they reach full maturity to ensure superb freshness. Some of the vines are over a hundred years old.
To balance the acidity of the wine, fifteen percent of the grapes are fermented in five-hundred litre barrels made from American and Slovenian oak.
This wine is produced from grapes grown in Western Oregon. The combination of altitude and cool overnight temperatures creates a wine of delightful freshness. The name of the wine indicates the care and attention the Foley family devotes to sourcing grapes that provide an outstanding balance to the finished product.
The bright red fruit colour provides an enticing invitation to savour the delicious flavours of raspberries, strawberries, and red cherries, expertly balanced with lingering acidity and freshness.
This is an excellent example of a Shiraz bursting with whole dark fruits balanced with firm tannins. Fifteen months of maturation in oak barrels delivers a wine of silky smoothness with a satisfying finish of subtle spices.
This is a fine example of the great wines produced in Argentina. The grapes are grown in the foothills of the Andes at around one thousand-four hundred meters above sea level. The resultant cooler nights result in a wine of intense flavour.
Rich dark fruits like blackberries and ripe plums combine with hints of baking spice, and the well-rounded tannins produce a delicious, well-rounded, full-bodied wine.