Welcome to HowDoYouCook.com

By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

How Much Wine to Purchase

How Much Wine Should You Purchase for Your Event?
Whether you're planning a wedding, a banquet or a small dinner party, it can be difficult to estimate how much wine you'll need to buy, balancing the desire to avoid running out against the need to stay within a budget.
There is no one, foolproof system for calculating how much wine you need for events, as no two events ever have exactly the same. Experts all agree on one point, however, that is it is always better to over-cater than run out of wine, so always round up your numbers.
Here are some steps you can take to help estimate your wine requirements.  
Do your research
  • What type of crowd you are expecting? Perhaps some of your guests are pregnant or non-drinkers or a high proportion may prefer beer to wine. Perhaps the guest list includes a number of children.
  • What's the average age of your guests? A younger group will consume more than an older group.
  • What time of the year is the event? People tend to drink more beer and white wine in summer than in cooler seasons.
  • What time is the event? People tend to drink more at evening functions than daytime functions.
  • How formal is the occasion? At more formal functions less wine tends to be consumed, while a relaxed event will have more life and encourage greater consumption.
  • How long will the event last? The longer the event, the more you'll have to buy.
  • How many people are expected?
  • Is food being served? People drink less while they're eating.

Unless you and your guests are wine connoisseurs, it may be best to stick to more traditional, well-known wine styles such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc as your white wine offering and a Merlot-based wine as the red alternative.
Working out the numbers
Armed with the number of guests and the type of wine you will be serving, you can use the following formulas to determine how much wine to buy. All formulas are based on standard 750ml bottles which contain four to five glasses of wine depending on the size of the glass used. Restaurant wine glasses are usually 150ml to 200ml, while flutes hold 100ml to 150ml on average.
For shorter functions, allow one and a half glasses of wine per person, per hour or half a bottle of wine per person per two-hour period. For longer functions it may be easier to break your event into different parts. Allow three to four drinks for a buffet or dinner of about four hours in length. For an all-evening party of about five or six hours, count on four to six drinks per guest, not including wine with dinner. This should equate to one to one and a half bottles of wine per person.
The recommendations and examples below err on the generous side, as again, there is nothing more embarrassing than running out of wine at an event. Bear in mind also that these are consumption averages for the whole group, taking into account those who don't drink wine or won't drink much, as well as those who may well drink quite a lot!
For a 50-person party that is expected to run for five hours, allow 1.25 bottles of wine per person (based on half a bottle of wine per person per two hours). If beer is also going to be served or you know there will be a lot of non-drinkers, round this down to one bottle per person or less. Out of the 63 bottles of wine this equates to, you may like to include sparkling wine in the mix, especially if the party is celebratory. If so, the breakdown could be 20 bottles of sparkling wine, which allows for two flutes per person, then depending on the taste of the guests, the male to female ratio, season, etc, split the remaining total roughly in half and purchase 23 bottles of white wine and 20 bottles of red wine.
For a 100 person wedding that runs from 5pm to 1am (assuming that the ceremony takes the better part of an hour and actual drinking time is seven hours) consider allowing two drinks per person for the dinner and another four drinks per person for the reception. This totals six drinks per person. You may like to break this down further, splitting it by red, white and sparkling wine. Assuming sparkling wine is going to be used for toasts, allow one glass per person - 100 flutes at 150ml a flute equates to 20 bottles of wine. That leaves five glasses per person which equates to 120 bottles (using 180ml servings), you could then split this to 60 bottles of white wine, 50 bottles of red wine and 10 more bottles of sparkling for those who want to continue with it.
Top Tips
Often retailers will offer you a deal when you buy be the case, and they may even buy back any unused stock - providing it is in pristine condition.
Selecting wines and champagne for a big event such as a wedding should be fun. Throw a wine-tasting party and invite the bridal party, friends or family to help determine the winelist. Decide on your budget, then buy a selection of wines in that price range.
If you are concerned about alcohol consumption, limit automatic refills. Ensure waiters ask guests if they would like their glasses topped off. It's been proven that people are much more wasteful with wine when it's on the table than when it's being served... they also drink more.
A nice touch at weddings is to select at least one special bottle of wine for the bride and groom to enjoy with their meal. You may like to extend this to close family and friends to enjoy at their table as well.
If you are ordering glassware, plan on 1.5 glasses per person for three hours or less, two glasses per person for longer as people have a tendency to 'lose' their glass.
To estimate how much you may spend on alcohol, you can expect to spend approximately half as much per person on wine as you spend per person on food.

The best wine to serve with a meal is a wine that you enjoy!  Many people will tell you serve white wines with chicken, fish or pasta. Or only serve red wines with steak or beef dishes. NOT!  Try different wines until you find one that YOU like. Don't leave this choice up to someone else.  
Any don't let the high prices of some wines scare you off.  The wine market is now a huge global business. While the California wines have greatly improved over the last few decades, we now have wines available from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.  With the increase in competition from these various imports, the prices have dropped considerably.
Cabernet Sauvignon (Ca-burr-nay So-veen-yawn)Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich full-bodied red wine. Aged in oak, this is a complex wine with cassis and blackberry flavors as well as hints of bell pepper. To make these wines drinkable sooner they are often blended with other grapes. French Bordeaux is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot to soften the tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon is the "classic" wine to serve with red meats.

Merlot (Mare-lo)Merlot is softer tasting than Cabernet Sauvignon due to having less tannins.  It is a smooth, dry red wine. Merlot is often described as having the flavors of boysenberry, black cherry, herbs, and mocha.  Merlot is best
with poultry and grilled meats, but these types of wines actually goes well with most foods. 
Pinot Noir (Pee-no Na-wahr)Pinot Noir is a smooth silky red wine that is extremely fruity. It is characterized with aromas and flavors of black cherry or rose petals with hints of spiciness. Pinot Noirs are enjoyed for their soft velvety texture. High in alcohol, they are full bodied but not heavy. Pinot Noir can be enjoyed with grilled salmon, roast beef, lamb, duck, and mushrooms.
Sangiovese (San-gee-oh-ve-zee)Sangiovese is a medium bodied dry red wine with earthy aromas and berry, plum, spicy, or floral flavors. It has a smooth texture. Sangiovese is the main grape used to produce Italian Chiantis. Sangiovese goes especially well with pasta and other Italian foods. 
Syrah (Sah-ra)Syrah is a hearty red wine noted for its complexity of aromas and flavors including ripe cherry, raspberry, plum, smoke, and white pepper. It is a dark red wine, sometimes almost black in color.  Syrah is wonderful eaten with duck, wild game, steak, and beef. 
Q: What's the difference between Syrah, Shiraz, and Petite Sirah? 
A:Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape - Shiraz is Australian for Syrah. Shiraz is usually made in a rich, fruity style with woodsy aromas, while Syrah has a smokey taste with ripe cherry and raspberry flavors. Petite Sirah, on the other hand, is a completely different varietal, a descendent of the now extinct Durif. It makes a robust, peppery wine with heavier tannins.

Zinfandel (Zin-fan-del)
Zinfandel can be light to full bodied. It can be rich and spicy or lighter and fruitier. Aromas and flavors that are typical include raspberry, jam, black pepper, and licorice. Zinfandel tastes great with steaks, grilled meats, and tomato based dishes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting today. Feel free to leave a comment or question below. I'd love to hear from you!