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This post is sponsored by La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

How Much Wine Do I Actually Need for a Dinner Party? An Expert Answers

written by CHRISTINA HERBST

This post is sponsored by La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

The Everygirl product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

Source: Elevae
Source: Elevae

We’ve all been there: you’re in the aisles of your local store trying to solve how much wine to snag for your party and, well, the math just isn’t mathing. There are four of us so we should only need two bottles, right? Well if we have two glasses per person, how many bottles is that in total? Ugh, should I just get four bottles, one for each of us, and call it a day? I’ve personally stood there anxiously typing away on my phone’s calculator more times than I can count.

Thankfully, we’ve debunked this eighth mystery of the world by tapping on Emily Pickral, Master Sommelier to save you the trouble. Here are her expert-level tips that’ll save your next dinner party, along with the best La Crema wines to serve your guests:

Meet the expert
Meet the Expert
Emily Pickral
For the past 20 years, Emily has held various sales roles in the wine industry, working for importers, distributors, and California wineries. Emily has worked for Jackson Family Wines since 2014, and she currently serves as the Director of Sales for Jackson Family’s field marketing team. Her passion for learning about wine encouraged her to embark upon the Master Sommelier diploma. She was the 19th woman in the world to earn the title and is one of 256 Master Sommeliers worldwide. She also has a Diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and a BA in Literature from the University of Virginia.

How many bottles to snag, based on your guest count

There’s a short and sweet rule I’m coining as the wine golden ratio—a quick way to do mental math on the spot. Emily suggests that for every wine bottle, you can serve about 3-4 guests. But, if your friends are die-hard wine fans, you may want to double this number just to ensure you have enough to go around. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to hosting (because you don’t want to be scrambling through your bar cart in hopes another wine bottle magically appears before your eyes).

There is one caveat to this golden rule, however. The number of bottles you snag can be altered depending on your guest’s preferences. If your friends have the same favorite wine type, you won’t run into this issue, but if you have some red lovers while some are white fans, you’ll want to do a guestimate based on the graphic below. For example, if you’re hosting six guests and half of them prefer reds and the other prefer whites, you’ll grab about two reds and two whites since you need about 3-4 bottles of wine for a group that size.

Wine serving tips

Invest in high-quality wine

As I mentioned earlier, you’ll want to know your audience when it comes to choosing the right wines for the group. Emily recommends having about two options in each category (reds, whites, and rosés) on hand. The key here is to make sure the styles differ enough to please multiple preferences aka having a few sweet and a few dry.

To take your hosting game up a notch, grab a few bottles of artisanal wine to maximize your dinner menu. I personally keep my bar cart stocked with a variety of La Crema’s quality wines, especially when I know I’ll be hosting guests. Whenever I serve someone new their crisp Sonoma Coast Chardonnay or fruit-forward Pinot Noir, I always catch them writing the name of the wine in their notes app.

Here’s what I’ve got stocked in my bar cart rn:

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La Crema
Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
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La Crema
Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
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La Crema
Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
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La Crema
Saralee's Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé
Use code LCEVERYGIRL for 15% + free shipping if you buy four or more bottles!
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Source: Kelsey Chance | Unsplash

Pair your wines well

Trust us: your guests will be able to tell the difference between a wine you mindlessly threw into your cart versus a quality wine you paired well with the meal you’re serving. Let your wine picks be the latter! Your guests will notice that you went the extra mile (and will think your dinner is even more impressive).

Here’s what to consider when selecting wines to match the flavor profiles of your spread:

  • Pair white meats with white wines and red meats with red wines
  • Spicy dishes need a cold, sweet wine to balance the heat
  • Herb-forward meals pair nicely with acidic wines
  • If all else fails, grab a Pinot Noir or Chardonnay—they complement any food!

Serve your wines thoughtfully

Every great wine can taste even better when treated with the utmost care. For starters, you’ll want to make sure your wines are stored well before guests arrive. In terms of wine storage prior to your event, Pickral says that storing temperature makes a big difference in the overall consumption experience. “I encourage taking whites out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before you serve them, so they are not ice cold. I suggest serving them around 49-55 degrees. Conversely, reds taste great after 15 minutes in the refrigerator before you serve them. They should be kept slightly cooler than room temperature or around 62-68 degrees. So as far as storage, keep whites in the fridge and reds at room temp until 15 minutes before your guests arrive, and then swap them in the fridge.” To really elevate their pours, consider using a decanter to help your wine breathe. This enhances your reds’, and some whites’, flavor and aroma.

As guests start arriving, pour their favorite into sleek wine glasses (but make sure you’re using the right one). Red wine glasses are typically taller and deeper in the “bowl” of the glass whereas white are smaller and narrower. Always pour to the curve of the wine glass—which is equal to one serving. And just so no one confuses their glass with their neighbors, offer chic wine charms so your guests can keep theirs straight.

Last, but certainly not least, make sure to your guests have a get-home-safe plan and that you remind guests to schedule rides ahead of time. While these guides are a helpful starting point when stocking up for an event, keep in mind that not all guests require the same amount of wine to celebrate. Encourage your guests to drink responsibly to ensure everyone has a safe, memorable time.

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Crate & Barrel
Wine Decanter
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Anthropologie
Zodiac Wine Charms
set of 12
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Pottery Barn
Modo White Wine Glasses
set of 4
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Pottery Barn
Modo Red Wine Glasses
set of 4
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This post is sponsored by La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.