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Buying Wine and Beer for a Party?

Well, then you have come to the right place! Now, you need a little more information and you can elevate you party from simply catering plonk to great crowd-pleasing wines that will have your guests wondering how you did it! First, you need to know how much wine and beer you’ll need. The best rule of thumb is that at a party with only wine and beer, the split will be about 50/50. To calculate how much you might need, check out the calculator on our Special Events page.

Now that you know how much to buy, what do you want to buy?

Red wine is a classic crowd favorite and will be about 50-60% of a party purchase. Choosing the perfect ‘crowd pleaser’ red wine is actually a lot of fun. Here’s what we recommend, if you have time! Buy 5 potential wines in your budget and taste test with your friends. Then vote for your favorite! There are tons of great reds in every price range for every taste … If you are looking for something in the $10-$15 range, look towards developing wine regions such as Chile, South Africa, Argentina, Portugal, Spain and Australia for quality options or for alternatives to the major varieties. If you are looking for something in the $15-$10 range, then you can buy just about anything you would like: consider those developing regions and keep an eye out for crowd pleasers like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah, and Merlot. If you are looking for something in the $20-$30 range, you can find some serious local wines in the range – including great Virginia wines – and values from the major regions around the world, including Rioja, Chianti, Côte du Rhône, and elsewhere. Above $30, you need to think carefully about how the red is going to match your food/atmosphere, but there are still some great values to be found at this price point.

For the whites, unless you know that everyone loves their oaky Chardonnay, we recommend that you go with lighter, zestier whites. They go better with food and are often better values. Look into whites wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, unoaked Chardonnay, Verdejo, Pinot Grigio, and native/regional blends from Italy, Portugal, and Southern France. If you need some oaked Chardonnay, look into places like Chile, Argentina, Spain, and closer to home, Sonoma, for better values.

Additionally, if you are celebrating something, don’t forget the bubbles! Champagne toasts don’t have to include Champagne and great bubbles can be found around the world with Cava, Prosecco, American Sparkling, Moscato d’Asti, and many other styles being better values, especially when most people will only consume half a glass during the toast!

Finally, rose is one of the fastest growing segments of the market and, no matter what time of year it is, there is a rose that would be perfect! It’s a great choice if you are serving seafood and it matching a wide variety of cuisines including Mexican, Indian, Sushi and Thai.

Author Thad

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