No event would be complete without great wine. It’s been a party staple since ancient times, even making an appearance in the Christian Bible (turning water into wine when the wedding ran out). This also means that, as long as wine has been part of celebrations, there’s been the danger of running out. That risk is still present but, it is avoidable by knowing how many glasses of wine are in a bottle.
Choosing Your Wine
When planning any adult event, wine is usually involved. Not everyone who drinks wine can grasp how much a good wine pairing can add to an evening. However, even if they won’t understand, trying your hand at pairings is still worth it.
The common advice is that red wine is for red meat while white wine is for fish and white meat. While that’s true, it doesn’t apply 100% of the time. With how complex wine can be, it will never be that straightforward.
Like with all food, what matters more are the flavor and characteristics of the wine rather than its color. Red wine is rich in tannins, which is responsible for any bitter taste. White, sparkling, and rosé wines are very acidic on the other hand.
When choosing what to pair with your menu, you can either go down the road of choosing congruent flavors, meaning the wine and food share characteristics, or you could opt for contrasting flavors, to offer an interesting complement to the unique qualities in both food and wine.
To go with contrasting flavors, you can pair your spicy or salty food with sweeter wine that has residual sugar, to balance out the kick and slice through the heat. Your fried or fatty food would go well with wines high in acid or tannins since these would soften out any harsh flavors.
For congruent pairings that match each other’s intensity or softness, you can pair your smokey food with oaked wines, your creamy sauces with creamy wines, your sweet desserts with sweet wine, or match your cuisine with wine grown from there.
It might sound a bit complicated but it can be simplified, so long as you’re sure of the food you’ll be serving and are ready to familiarize yourself even more with wine.
Planning Your Wine
Of course, there are other things to consider when choosing your wine.
The expensive choice is rarely the best choice, and your preference might not be what your guests will enjoy most. Above all that, any kind of wine at all is enough to make people happy. This means that making sure you have enough to go around is critical.
Before you can plan for your wine, you’ll first need to know how many guests are coming, how long the event will last, and also have an insight into the nature of the party or of your guests. It’s better to be safe than sorry but that might also mean buying way more wine than you might need.
Generally, you’ll need to prepare one glass of wine per guest for each hour. You might have to prepare two glasses per hour in some cases, like if your guests won’t have to drive home on their own, or if the day is humid and hot. In these situations, people tend to drink more than normal.
You’ll also need to consider what’s the purpose of the party. If it’s for special events like engagements and job promotions, champagne or any sparkling wine would be expected. In case it is for a simple get together, regular wine will do.
If you know that most of them are going to bring some wine, take that into consideration as well. Your wine purchase would also be affected by your guest’s preferences. If most of them prefer beer, why prepare a lot of wine?
Stretching Your Wine Budget
There’s a big possibility you won’t be comfortable serving a glass of wine per guest every hour, with multiple wine options for each serving too. There are a lot of ways to lessen your wine expenses without compromising on the quality of the party or risking the satisfaction of your guests.
With formal events, you might be advised or expected to prepare several wine varieties, such as giving your guests an option between a red or white wine. However, you don’t need to feel pressured to do this.
If you’re hosting and the budget is tight, your guests will understand. You could save up on your wine allowance by limiting your wine offers to just one kind of wine for the whole party or simply offering what you can give out.
Prepare alternative and affordable drink options too, such as water, beer, or sodas. This will fill your guests and is a great way to keep everyone sipping on something while still conserving your wine supply. Serve coffee or tea as well, if your party is winding down and you want to give out a subtle signal for the guests to get ready to leave.
You could also offer wine mixes or punches instead. These would really stretch out how much wine is needed per glass since it would have added substances like sparkling water or juice. It’s a fun drink to have in a party and it helps you serve wine without needing to buy in excess.
This could likewise be an option if you’re about to run out of wine. You could take the last few bottles of wine and turn that into punch instead. It’s a clever trick to keep the alcohol flowing without running out to buy more from the store.
Wine Bottle Size Guide
Whether you can afford to go big with your wine options for the party or you need to maximize your wine budget, you’ll need to know how many glasses of wine are in a bottle.
There are a lot of wine bottle sizes to choose from, some of which are more common than others. The most familiar bottle size is probably the standard wine bottle size, with 750 ml of wine in it, or 25 oz. This is the bottle most wine accessories are tailored to and is the size we expect in a wine bottle. Any bigger or smaller sizes could feel like novelties.
One standard bottle can fill around four to six glasses of wine, with 4 – 6 oz. of wine in a single glass. For a party, it’s safer to be slightly generous when measuring your wine pour, so five glasses, with five oz. per glass, would be a safe estimate.
|Wine ml per bottle||Size compared to Standard Wine Bottle||Number of Glasses (5 oz.)|
|Piccolo or Split||187.5 ml||¼ standard bottle||1 glass|
|Demi or Half||375 ml||½ standard bottle||2.5 glasses|
|Standard||750 ml||Standard||5 glasses|
|Liter||1 L||1 ⅓ standard bottles||7 glasses|
|Magnum||1.5 L||2 standard bottles||10 glasses|
|Double Magnum||3 L||4 standard bottles||20 glasses|
|Rehoboam||4.5 L||6 standard bottles||30 glasses|
|Imperial or Methuselah||6 L||8 standard bottles||40 glasses|
|Salmanazar||9 L||12 standard bottles||60 glasses|
|Balthazar||12 L||16 standard bottles||80 glasses|
|Solomon||20 L||26 standard bottles||130 glasses|
|Goliath or Primat||27 L||36 standard bottles||180 glasses|
|Melchizedek or Midas||30 L||40 standard bottles||200 glasses|
You probably won’t be needing a Midas sized bottle for a garden birthday party but it’s good to know you have options!
The standard wine bottle size is the most common but bigger and smaller sizes alike are gaining in popularity. Liter bottles offer a lot of value, while demi bottles are the smart choice to use in wine punches. For a grand wedding or company event, a big bottle is sure to make a statement and would be a memorable feature during the celebrations.
Whichever you choose to buy, at least now you’ll know more options to make the best decision on what wine to buy and how much of it so you don’t run out!