How Much Wine Do You Need for a Dinner Party?

how much wine do you need for a dinner party

Throwing great dinner parties can be really fun – and cause crazy stress at the same time. 

One of the biggest stressors is how much wine will you need to have on hand so that you don’t run out during the party.

How in the world do you begin to calculate how many bottles you should have so that you have enough wine for all of your guests? If you’re not psychic (and if you are, you can skip to another article because you have already solved this problem), then you can’t possibly know how many glasses your guests are going to drink.

Or can you?

Turns out, there’s a pretty simple way to estimate how much wine to buy for a party. It’s easy to remember and is pretty accurate. Here it is: buy one bottle of wine per invited guest. That’s it.

Right now you’re probably thinking that it can’t be that simple, can it?” Turns out, most of the time it is.

How do you get to that bottle-per-person answer? There are two steps: knowing how much wine is in a bottle and knowing how many glasses of wine the average person drinks at a party.

Step 1: How many glasses are in a bottle of wine?

Each regular sized bottle of wine is 750 ml, which is equal to 25 oz. The average glass is about 5 oz. That works out to five glasses per bottle. However, most people have a heavy-handed pour at parties, so to be safe, you should figure on about four glasses of wine per bottle instead of five.

Step 2: How many glasses does the average person drink at a dinner party?

So a vineyard in California that hosts dinner party functions says they notice that most people have a glass of wine before dinner, two with the meal, and one after the meal. Dust off your first-grade math skills, and you’ll see that works out to four glasses per person, which is one bottle of wine.

That’s your starting point. For most dinner parties, that would also be your ending point. You would buy one bottle per person and maybe one or two extra bottle just in case and the night would be a success. You can start shopping for your wine now.

Easy calculation to find out how much wine you need for a dinner party

However, if you’re hosting your book club for dinner and you’ve seen firsthand how much these ladies love their wine, then you might need a slightly different equation to figure out the right number of bottles to buy. I mean, you know that Amy hasn’t read a single page of any book that your group has discussed. Girlfriend only comes for the wine and the company. Mostly the wine.

Figuring out how much wine to buy for a group of serious wine lovers isn’t that much more challenging than for average drinkers, but the math might be closer to third grade rather than first grade.

1. Make note of how many guests are coming to your party.
2. Multiply that number by how many glasses you estimate each of your wine-loving guests to drink while they’re at the party. If the average person drinks four, maybe you plan for six or seven for this vino-crazy crowd.
3. Divide that total number by four, the number of glasses in a bottle of wine.

That’s it. If math wasn’t your strongest subject, even in third grade, here’s an example. You have eight people coming to your party, and you think that they might each drink six glasses of wine. Multiply eight people times six glasses, and you get 48 total glasses of wine. Divide 48 by four glasses, and you get 12. Add one or two bottles just to be safe, and you’re at 14 bottles of wine for your wine-loving friends.

Go out and make us proud

If not knowing how much wine to buy for your dinner party was the last excuse you had before actually holding it, you are officially out of excuses. Text your friends and invite them for dinner. Shop for great wine, confident that you are getting the right amount for your party. Remember to personalize the labels so your guests know you bought the wine just for them.

Follow these steps, and you are ready to host an epic, wine-filled dinner party that will have your friends talking for weeks to come.

Tags: Activity Ideas, how to, party tips