How much wine for a reception of 125?

I have produced multi night wine dinner parties in Southern California and ten years of wine events at Pebble Beach Concours. You think it would be easy, right? I always seem to over-estimate how much wine gets consumed at receptions. The last thing I want is for it to run out though

I am helping a friend pull together some wines for her non-profit foundation fundraiser in Hollywood, CA. The request is for a good bubbly and a red for 125 guests, how much do you think I need to spec out? Remember it is Hollywood and some probably won’t drink at all. I’m thinking 4 cases of bubbles and 2 cases of red (14 oz total p/p). Sound reasonable? Anyone else have a rule?


I have used a rule of thumb of 2 glasses per two hour period.
How long will the reception last?

I do this all the time for my peeps…

bubbles … I came up with 4.34 cases of bubbly… .34 lol :slight_smile: … and for the red… you are short on the red if no white if offered… I would say 3 cases and you most likely will not run out… this is a focus wine event so the normal party rules get trashed… or your numbers would be correct non wine event… all educated guesses …

Gl …

Until Cate Blanchett leaves…

on the reds 100 will drink, 25 will not, due to perception red gives people headaches, medication, non drinkers… drivers… etc… at least two glasses, unless its a drunk event… not to be disparaging …

of the 100 …25% will stop with the one glass of red… the 75% that drink the red will drink ave 2.5 glasses…if you run this thing as noted above time factors in and the last leg they will go through a case extra if it runs late… 3.9 cases will be needed… I would change my red numbers… from 3 to 4 to be safe if the event is long … it is a wine event…

After planning many private dinners at a restaurant, by generic rule that worked very well was 4/10 of a bottle per person.

there are gonna be other cocktails right? I think your estimate is fine. I think 4 cases of bubbly is way high though… even in hollywood.

Details missing. When you say reception one would need to know how long it would be for, what time of day, whether it has sit-down or is just stand around, will the wine be passed/table served/bar served.
If it actually is a “hollywood” event the consumption would tend to be less than one might think. especially if the wine is not of a quality deemed good. A or B listers just aren’t all-in on many charity events. They’ll pay the tally but won’t eat or drink much and often don’t stay for a long time. There’s also a lot of waste in tray passed bubbly over a decent period. People grab one and end up drinking part, leaving part, opting for a colder one etc.

Without knowing more, and just assuming (as in no cocktails), John Z’s guess seems pretty much what I would say. Two cases of red and you might run out, and maybe the same for the four cases of bubbly. Going an extra case to five and three would make it safe. Or with cases broken down or units of six, maybe 54 bottles and 30 bottles. There’s a good chance the 48 and even 24 would be enough, but typically a run-out is much worse than an overage.

It all depends on the quality of the Champagne served. Better the champagne, the more they drink. Warmer the weather, the more they drink. I would go with 4 cases of Champagne.

My friend requested good quality bubbles. for me, that means Schramsberg, Domaine Carneros or Iron Horse.

John Gonzales - Thanks for the questions. You are right to ask all the particulars. :slight_smile: If she ends up with extras, It is a good cause.

Is Jeremy Holmes invited ?

Cool. Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam is on the board. I bet he knows a thing or two about wine if he hangs with Eddie.

Chateau Lafite assumes 3/4 of a bottle/person when people do dinner there. I’ve found that for large receptions going with 3bottles/5 people works.

I consulted the Offline Guide and did the calculations . . . 476 bottles of red, 143 bottles of bubbly, and 3 bottles of white.

John Gonzales: I learned that it is wine, water and chocolate from 4-9PM and she expects a hard cap of 150 and for guests to come and go. Does that help?

Walt Hoehler: Yes, Stone is on the board. Our mutual friend is Libby Spears, who directed the film and was the impetus for creating Nest Foundation. I have been a supporter since the beginning.

Most all wine store here who supply events will accept returns of unopened bottles.

+1. Red is especially easy because you don’t need to chill it (much). Might be harder to have Champagne on “ice” and then return it.

It’s a good guide…did not know this … It works out to my numbers … Cheers!!!

I have seen bartenders at Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance pull corks on 12 cases of wine I provided and pour out 8 oz glasses, with half of it sitting there two hours later… That, I would have taken back. As I am already a significant patron of this cause, I may be doing some of this from my own collection (not purchasing locally) so returns are not a concern. I imagine Libby will find use for extra wine. :slight_smile: All of the input has been helpful. I think the bubbles are most important, six cases yields 12 oz. each for 150. Pair chocolate with which reds? I have done bittersweet with dry cabs but that was years ago… :confused:

I’ve been to a bunch of this sort of event around L.A… No disrespect intended but from the look of it, it won’t be a premiere event. As they seem to anticipate, they’ll be a lot more part-time attendees than people that would stay for five hours, and knowing events that I attend and my wife deals with in the wine biz, there are a lot of no-shows. Even if there’s a ticket/contribution. People thinking along the lines of a winery dinner might over-estimate consumption.

The effects can be compounding. No significant food will mean less consumption. If it’s the kind of event that folks want to hit for part-time, a lot will go earlier and go elsewhere/dine after. So then they’re planning to drive and potentially drink more later so they take it easy on the booze. With not meal the red consumption will definitely be lower. I don’t think the availability of chocolate and a suggested pairning is going to push a lot of people into drinking red. Unless Abby Disney got them hooked up with some early 90s Siverado Limited Rsv Cab! And chocolate doesn’t clash with champagne to most people anyway.

Ater hearing the details, your original inclination looks decent, assuming that the pouring and serving aren’t overly wasteful. A slight bump-up and I’d feel safe.