Wud up party people!

So I probably shouldn’t say “wud up” because I’m not sure I can pull it off.  But today’s blog is about supplying the party to the people: ie. the booze.  How much do you need, how do you calculate amounts etc. etc. etc..

We’re gonna give you a few little formulas here, and hopefully it will leave you with a little to spare, vs. not enough.  And in some crazy states they even allow you to return the alcohol if you don’t use it!

For a five hour event, it is likely that your guests will have average at 1 drink per hour.  Keep in mind I say average, because your sorority sister Sadie will have a few more, but big aunt Agnes will have a few less.  And at 150 guests for 5 hours, that comes out to 750 drink servings. Remember, we are overestimating to play it safe.  (Keep in mind that below I’m being literal, but feel free to round up or down to what you feel is best).  You can also alter these if you feel it will be hot and you’ll want more white wine vs. cold, or if your guests are primarily beer drinkers, etc..

Now if you’re having just beer and wine, it’s a pretty easy formula.  About 3/4 will drink wine, so you want to split it accordingly.  Wine has 5 servings per bottle:
188 bottles of beer (1 keg = approx 330 bottles, so try a half keg)
282 servings red wine = 56 bottles
282 servings white wine = 56 bottles

If you are having sparkling wine and doing a toast, you can decrease a little from everywhere, or just add on 150 servings of champagne = 30 bottles.  You could also ask them to pour half glasses, and instead order 20 bottles of sparkly.

This is a great place to start.  Now let’s say you are having 2 specialty cocktails: a bride’s drink and a groom’s drink.  We go all the way back to the beginning where we have 750 drinks for the night.  Assess your group and determine if they are more hard alcohol drinkers, or wine or beer. A handle of alcohol (60oz) you have about 30-40 servings.
So I do 750 servings and take it down to a split of 4 different categories, 25% beer, 60% wine, 15% specialty cocktails:
188 bottles of beer
225 servings of red wine = 45 bottles
225 servings of white wine = 45 bottles
57 servings vodka = 2 handles vodka
57 servings gin = 2 handles gin
and for every handle of alcohol you need 2 times the mixer, so 4 coke and 4 cranberry.

Now for the full bar, the ratio changes again.  You’re looking at about 25% liquor, 15% beer and 60% wine.  Taking our magic number 750 servings, we get:
113 bottles of beer
225 servings red = 45 bottles
225 servings white = 45 bottles
187 servings liquor (6.25 handles of alcohol, buy your favorite varietals).

Hopefully this is helpful for you and I didn’t throw around too many numbers to catch you off guard.  It should be fairly simple if you know how to break down your percentages.  And if you’re still really lost, try this alcohol calculator.

Wino here

I love wine tasting.  I don’t discriminate by varietal, in fact, I will try just about any kind of wine, no matter the reputation (sorry, not all Merlot is bad), and then decide on a case by case basis (pun not intended).  So if it’s up to me, I would love to give guests the option to choose from 5 reds and 5 whites, plus 3 dessert wines.

Off the top of my head, I would choose: Syrah, Cab Sauv, Zinfandel, Merlot and Pinot Noir.  And that doesn’t even get us into the fun varietals like Malbec, Brunello, Mourvedre, Barbera … I can go on.  For whites I would probably choose: Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Viognier.  Gewurztraminer or Roussanne anyone?!  And for dessert, probably a nice thick Port and an Ice Wine, and maybe a Moscato.

Pretty unlikely though for a wedding, because depending on the bar, you can’t have that many options or you have to pre order bottles and that just gets to be a lot to try to premeditate what your friends will actually end up drinking.  So how do we narrow it down?!  You have to read your guests and your event.  Main things to hone in on:

Time of Year: Is it winter?  Clearly you’ll need more red.  Is it summer and outside?  Order more white!  I think it’s always nice to give a guest 2 choices of red and 2 of white.  Then if possible, throw in a third choice for whichever you will likely be serving more of.  If you are serving sparkling wine, you should definitely be good with 2 other whites and not need a 3rd.

Big Winos: If you know your guests are a big wine drinking crowd, chances are they like some bigger wines.  If they’re not, then don’t get too adventurous and stick with more simple, mainstream varietals.

Location: Are you in a foreign country or in a wine region?  Definitely go with some of the favorites of your location, but don’t scare people off with names like Gruner Veltliner and Teroldego.  If you do choose the adventurous side, make sure guests can have a taste and serve a more commonly known varietal alongside it so they don’t feel overwhelmed.

Bold and Light: Be sure to choose somewhat opposite options for guests.  Everyone doesn’t necessarily pair their wine perfectly with their food (nor do they care), but make sure if you offer a bigger wine like a Syrah or a Cabernet Sauvignon, that you offer a lighter wine like a Pinot Noir or Merlot.  Same goes for whites.  While you may think of them all as “light”, try and choose an oaky wine vs. a fruity wine or vs. dry. Think Chardonnay vs. Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.

As much fun as wine tasting can be, you really just want to give your guests a few options so they feel deliciously satisfied and like they get a choice, without giving too many options that will hold up that precious bar line.

And don’t forget!  Brides should be drinking white wine to prevent any possibly red wine spillage! So not worth it even if you are a red drinker…