How to Know How Much Wine to Buy

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How many glasses of wine to have at your party?

But really… are a few extra bottles going to go to waste? 

Ah, the age-old question: How much wine to buy for your party? How do you know how many glasses of wine each guest will drink? Do you estimate based on the number of bottles or glasses? Now, of course there is no perfect science for this, but our Partytrick team has surprisingly accurate knowledge when it comes to this type of science. Biology may not have been our strong suit… but hey, we all have our strengths.

how to know how much wine to buy

Check our guide for your wine-buying process and save yourself the headache of over- or under- buying wine next time. The wine headache, on the other hand… well, we can’t help you there.

Simple calculation: Estimate 3-4 glasses of wine per wine drinker at your party. 

If you want a bit more detail for wine estimating accuracy, read on.

how much wine do i buy for having people over

Wine drinking fast facts

  • Estimate that guests will have two drinks in the first hour, and one drink each hour for the remainder of the party.
  • Drinks can mean a glass or wine, a beer, and/or a cocktail.
  • Take into account if you’ll serve cocktails at your party, which will replace the first hour of wine drinking.
  • One bottle of wine serves 4 glasses for a dinner pour.
  • A cocktail glass of wine is smaller, so a bottle serves 5-6 glasses.
how much wine do people drink

Estimating the length of your party

  • 1 hour for cocktails
  • 1-1.5 hours for dinner
  • Clean-up, dessert, games… consider which direction your party is likely to go, and estimate the length of your party from there.

Now for some quick math. Stay with us, it’s fun, we promise.

Glasses of wine = 2g + gt
  • g = number of guests
  • t = hours at party - 1 (since Hour 1 is accounted for in ‘2g’)

If you have a party with 4 people (including yourself), dinner starts at 6:00pm, and you expect guests to stay until 10:00pm, here’s how we’d calculate the wine amount:

  • g = 4
  • t = 4 - 1 = 3
  • Glasses of wine = 2 (4 guests) + 4 (3 hours)
  • = 20 glasses of wine
  • 20 / 4 glasses = 5 bottles

If you are more visual, see this chart to understand:

An example for calculating how many glasses of wine a party of 4 would drink at a 4-hour party.

Just because we said biology wasn’t our best subject doesn’t mean we didn’t thrive in math. When in doubt, estimate 3-4 glasses of wine per wine drinker for the party. You can’t go wrong. Your guests are just happy to be there.

how much wine to buy when hosting

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