How Many Bottles Do You Need for Your Dinner Party?

Simple Math

We know that hosting a dinner party often requires careful planning and thoughtful preparation. How many guests are coming? Any dietary restrictions? Katie is vegan, Phil is gluten-free…so which dishes should you make? Once you have the menu tackled, which wine will you serve, and how many bottles should you get?

We think it is arguably more important that there is always enough wine to go around. But…how much is enough?

A rule of thumb we use when hosting a dinner party is one bottle of wine per person. Tack on a few extras if you think the party will last more than three or four hours.

How did we get there?

Let’s break it down: each standard bottle of wine has 750 ml, or 25 oz. A glass of wine is technically five ounces—meaning each bottle contains five glasses—but at dinner parties we tend to pour a little more. All things considered, we concluded there are four glasses in one bottle of wine, give or take. Based on our very scientific research, we found most guests will likely indulge in a glass before dinner with appetizers or cheese, enjoy a couple with the main courses, and finish with at least one after the meal; adding up to four glasses, or one bottle per guest. Simple, right?


Not so fast. This simple rule of thumb sometimes comes with a catch. It depends on how many of your guests like drinking wine, and it depends on how many people will attend the party. Perhaps your neighbor is really more of a beer kind of guy, or your friend from work didn’t tell you they’re bringing their wine-loving girlfriend. Never fear: as long as you estimate one bottle per guest invited; you should be fine, unless you know certain guests LOVE wine and will drink much more than four glasses. In that case, use this easy equation:

Number of guests x Amount of glasses each will consume, divided by four. This equals the approximate number of bottles you will need. No glass will be left empty!

Want to see how Frank Family hosts a dinner party? Visit our Events page and come join us next time! Cheers, and happy sipping.

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