' Wine Party Planning Guide | Kendall-Jackson
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Party Planning Guide

Party Planning Guide

Use this handy guide to help calculate how much and what type of wine you’ll need for your event.

How Much

Cocktail Parties

  • ½ bottle of wine/person for each 2-hour period.
  • If your event begins before 5pm, or you are also serving liquor or beer:
    ½ bottle of wine/person per 3-hour period.
Self-Service for Guests
  • If guests will serve themselves, add 10% to your estimate.

Dinner Events

  • Plan on 1.5 glasses per course per person.
  • Each 750ml bottle will provide five 5-oz. servings.
  • For each course multiply
    [# of guests] x [1.5]  /  5 = # of bottles you will need per course.


Cocktail Parties

  • Less than 3 hours: 1.5 glasses per person.
  • Over 3 hours: 2 glasses per person.
Self-Service for Guests
  • Offer a red, white and sparkling (if appropriate) for guests.

Dinner Events

  • For larger gatherings, rent glassware from a local party rentals shop.
  • Arrange each place setting with separate red and white wine glasses, plus a water glass.
  • For fine wine tastings, there is varietal-specific glassware available that will enhance each wine's specific character. Riedel is an excellent choice.

Choosing Wines

Cocktail Parties

Events before 5pm (or for outdoor events in warm weather):
70% white wine, 30% red wine

Events after 5pm:
40% white wine, 60% red wine

White Wine Choices:

  • In general, Chardonnay is extremely popular, and also very versatile.
  • On a warm day, you may also choose to serve a crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc.
  • If you are serving spicy foods, Riesling is a perfect pairing.
  • Fruity desserts and sweet appetizers such as Foie Gras pair wonderfully with white dessert wines such as our Late Harvest Chardonnay.
Red Wine Choices:
  • Pinot Noir is the most versatile and an excellent red wine choice for warmer weather.
  • Merlot is a popular crowd pleaser because of its chocolate flavors and soft finish.
  • Zinfandel offers jammy fruit flavors that pair well with grilled foods.
  • Full-bodied wines like Meritage Red, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are recommended for pairing with beef, lamb, other hearty main courses and dark chocolate desserts.

Dinner Events



Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens
5007 Fulton Road
Fulton, CA 95439


Email: kjwines@kj.com
Toll Free: 800.769.3649
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