Q- What is the best way to figure out how much wine to buy when entertaining at home or a wedding?
For a wedding or a home party, this simple math will give you an idea: (number of guests) x (number of servings for each quest) / 5.
Let's assume a typical guest drinks 4 glasses of wines during the event. If you invite 100 guests, then you will need 400 servings. There are 5 servings in a typical 750 ml bottle. So you will need the total of 80 bottles of wines. It always nice to add about 20% more, just in case some guests like to drink more. 96 bottles is a good number for this event. Let's assume you chose a $15 bottle wine. Total budget will be $1440 (96 bottles x $15).
In case of a wedding, you will do the same math for sparkling wines that may be served before and after the dinner. Remember, this is only a cost of product. Rental glasses, services, ice cubes, etc will be extra, and the cost will easily become more than double. It is best to consult professionals, such as catering companies, for details. But knowing the base cost will offer you a good starting point.
Q- What trends do you see in events these days as it relates to wines and spirits?
The sweet wine category is definitely leading the trend. Moscato, the sweet, fruity, sparkling white wine from the northern Italy has been red hot, especially among the African American consumers, thanks to the famed rap song. Another trend is the "craft" movement, as opposed to "mass production". Craft beers, craft whiskies, craft vodkas… You see increasing number of them at bars and liquor stores. People begin to be tired of monotonous National brands and discover values in unique individual characteristics of these small-production numbers made by artisans with care.
Q- What are the basic differences between champagne and sparkling wine?
The name "Champagne" came from the district in the northern France. Only sparkling wines that were harvested and produced in the Champagne district under the strict guidelines set by the French government can be called Champagne. Anything else is just a sparkling wine. One of the most distinguished characteristics is that the base wine goes through a second fermentation process within the bottle, as opposed to tanks, to create effervescence. This technique is called "methode Champegnoirs" or "classical method", and sometimes you see this labeling on the bottles of sparkling wines that were made with the same method. They are considered to be better product, but nonetheless they are not Champagne.