By Marco Giovanetti – Montreal Times
Come summer time, it seems there are parties being thrown in apartments, on roof decks and at houses all across the city and the suburbs. Its one thing to be invited to a bash and grab a nice bottle of wine for the host, and quite another to plan a get together yourself. Friends and even relatives, ask me again and again how much wine they will need for their parties or events. Although there is no set standard for knowing how much wine your guests will consume, there are a few guidelines to bear in mind.
The best place to start is to be aware that a regular-sized bottle of wine (750ml) holds about five glasses. This doesn’t mean five super-sized, filled-to-the-rim drinks, but rather glasses filled with five or six ounces of wine, with room for the wine to breathe and swirl. You know your friends and family best. That said, your average guest will consume two to two and a half glasses of wine during a two-hour event and about four-to-five glasses of wine throughout the course of a longer party. If you’re throwing a four-hour party for 12 guests, you should have about 10 bottles of wine on hand. Since a case of wine equals 12 bottles, you may as well get a case since you may get a discount on specific bottles or if you visit an an SAQ depot. A case is also the standard format if you order a private import. Always better to have too much than not enough! If there are other alcoholic drinks, such as beer and cocktails, being served at the party, you should be able to get away with just eight bottles of wine.
If there’s something to celebrate and you’re planning on a toast with Champagne or sparkling wine, the formula is slightly different. Since sparkling wine glasses, or flutes, are smaller and should only be filled from half-way to three-quarters full, you’ll be able to get approximately seven glasses out of one bottle. For a party of 12, then, you’ll need two bottles of sparkling wine for the toast. You never know when someone is going to ask for more so I’d recommend having three bottles on hand just in case.
You’ll also want to consider your guests and the weather when picking wines for your party. A reliable rule of thumb: provide two different red wines and two distinct whites. People have varying tastes so present a bold red, such as a cabernet sauvignon, as well as a lighter red, for instance a pinot noir. For the whites, offer a full-bodied wine such as chardonnay as well as a brighter white, for example a sauvignon Blanc. Don’t forget to chill your whites to about 12 degrees Celsius and keep them on ice. Reds should never be served too warm, which is something you’ll need to watch out for in the warmer weather; they are at their best between 15 and 17 degress. If you’re prepared ahead of time, the rest will be easy and you’ll even be able to pour yourself a glass of wine, kick back and enjoy your perfect summer wine party.
Many thanks for my sponsors for this week tasting. They include Louise Tousignant from Amphora wines ( Drappier and Laudis) and David Laviolette from Société de Vins Fins ( Antu).
Wines of the week:
A bouquet with a nice, high toned floral profile. Aromas of white flowers, cantaloupe peel, fresh cut melon with vanilla custard and fresh strawberries.
In the palate, it displays a fine minerality, some development but no oxidation, a slight lactic note of whipped cream.
Elegant, well balanced, medium bodied, very pure finish.
Excellent champagne for the price.
Food Match: Grilled lobster and pasta.
On the nose rich layers of ripe leafy cassis fruit, black plums, red cherries with subtle nuances of gunpowder, wood, balsamic, red and green pepper, cured meat and dry spices.
In the mouth, full body, round and ample with meaty tannis. Flavors remind me of raspberry jelly, dark chocolate and nuances of smoked grilled red peppers.
A very spicy and generous finale with a longlasting finish that brings to mind dry thyme.
This wine is ready to drink now or could be be kept for the next 7-10 years.
Food Match: BBQ Veal chops with Guacamole sauce.
On the nose the bouquet brings to mind are intense black cherries and blueberries with aromas of noble oak.
On the palate, the wine is rich displaying again black fruits flavors along cherries, plums and orange peel.
In addition, nuances of thyme are present with floral notes of violets cascading into a grand finale of leather and mocha and espresso , ending with a delicate spice note all wrapped up with long and caressing tannins.
Food Match: Lamb chops with a rosemary and lavender spiced rub on the BBQ.