This post was inspired by my friend who is entertaining some guests at her house but she has no idea what to serve when it comes to wine. Her friends are between 22 and 30 and she wants to serve wine. It is very easy to make a mistake when it comes to wine especially when you just pick wine from the store without researching.


Here is a simple checklist to make sure you don’t get disappointed.

1)      Know your Budget. One thing is that people worry about is breaking the bank. Wine ranges from Kshs 500 to >20,000 per bottle. Know how much you are willing to spend.

2)      Know your guests. Know how many guests you are expecting and know their preferences. Do they take wine? Do they love sweet, semi-sweet or tannic wine? It won’t hurt to call them to know their tastes and preferences.

3)      Sample the wine. Go to the store/ shop and narrow down to like five favorites.

party 2

4)      Know the quantity per head. If you have ten guests, make sure you buy more than ten bottles because the average wine consumption is about a bottle per hour.

5)      What kind of event will you have? If it is a Sunday Brunch or after lunch party, the wine consumption will be more than that of an evening dinner. In formal events, people rarely finish one bottle.

6)      Food & wine Pairings: Make sure that the food and wine pair perfectly.

7)      Have more than one wine for diversity. Have reds, whites and a rose.

party 3


8)      As a general rule, 15 to 30 minutes before guests arrive, put reds in the refrigerator. Take whites and rosés out a few minutes before pouring.

How to calculate how much wine to buy. Consider an alternative approach: Find out the following.

  • How many wines will you be serving?
  • How do people transition from wine to wine?
  • Is the event long and leisured or short and formal? Do your guests know each other and do the love wine?
  • What size of glasses are you using (Large red glasses hold more wine and people drink more)?
  • With these factors, I say that a bottle will serve four people. Each person should have a glass of each. So if you have 20 guests and six wine types, you need 30 wines. Five of each. Do not forget to add a few bottles because some people may request more than one serving.

sept 09/14