(Closed) Help please, roughly how many bottles of wine would I need for 40-50 people?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

2 drinks per person for the first hour, 1 drink per person for each subsequent hour.  Wine / beer split will depend on the crowd and what they like to drink.

Note: I did not trust this formula, overbought, and had tons of leftovers.  I was giving people bottles of wine to bring home.  Ridiculous.

Post # 4
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Do all 40/50 drink wine? Are you serving other alcoholic beverages? We are hosting a similar number of guests along with beer and liquor options so we are planning on 5 Litres of red and 5 Litres of white. However we know that given the option most of our drinking guests prefer liquor over wine and beer.

Post # 5
14049 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

My caterer suggested 5 glasses per person for a 4.5 hour reception with a full open bar and wine service at dinner… I have a lot of wine.  But I’ll drink it if there’s leftovers!

Post # 6
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

View original reply
@ElbieKay:  oooh this is good to know. OP, I had the same question!

Post # 7
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We had 70 people at our wedding. I bought:

4 Boxes of Beer (24 bottles/box)

24 bottles of wine (12 white, 12 red)

4 1.5L bottles of rum (signature drink)

Post-wedding, we ended up with about 2.5 boxes left of beers, 24 bottles of wine and no rum.

Our caterer also provided the soft bar. We didn’t have extremely heavy drinkers across the board, BUT I will say that those who drank drank heavily.

ETA: FWIW, the red was WAY WAY WAY more popular than the white.

Post # 8
1447 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

There are calculators online to determine stuff like this; you’ll probably want a mix of white and red wine, as well as beer.  Some venues may or may not allow hard liquor.

Post # 9
7172 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@GRL2289:  if you buy from Bev Mo during the 5 cent sale, they take returns!  We went through tons tasting it and they returned what we didn’t like.  After the wedding, we returned the unopened bottles we had left.

How much do you know about your guests tastes?  and/or drinking style?  How long is your reception?

If you figure 1 bottle of wine is 5 servings… a case of 12 is 60 servings.

I consider myself a heavy wine drinker and would probably have 4-5 glasses of wine throughout the evening.  Others might only have 2 or less (one with cocktail hour and one with dinner).

it also depends on your beverage service during dinner… how are you handling that?  Our wine servers did not pour as frequently as I would have liked. 

If you want to play it safe, I’d say you’d be more than covered with 3 cases of red and 3 cases of white (with lots left over).  More people will likely drink red over white, so if you want to do 3/2 you’d also be fine.  If you don’t want to overbuy – just do 2 red and 2 white (cases of 12) and I’m sure you’ll have more than enough.  

Post # 12
343 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We had beer, wine, and mixed drinks for 100 people for four hours. We bought 12 bottles of red wine and 12 bottles of white wine, but I would say we had at least 3 bottles of white left over, and maybe 4 or 5 of red?  There were quite a few non-drinkers and also it was warm out, so I think a lot of drinkers went the mixed drink route (ice!)  Also, we did not serve wine at dinner. The manager at the wine store was helpful in advising how many bottles to get, and also offered to take any extras back.

Post # 13
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@GRL2289:  Some Sam’s Clubs and some liquor stores will let you return unopened bottles of wine!  I think you could easily get away with just doing 12-15 bottles total, going on the idea that out of 40 attending guests, at least 10 might be beer-only, leaving only 30 wine-drinking guests. 1 bottle for every 2-3 people.  The big drinkers will drink more, but the people who don’t drink much will have less, so it should even out.

And if you budget yourself and get only $10 bottles of win (Sam’s club has good stuff for $10), that’s only $120-$150 total.  Pretty cheap!

Post # 16
26 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

Is the 2 drinks for the first hour and 1 drink for each subsequent hour a standard assumption?  Our cocktail hour + reception will be about 5 hours total, and I’d assumed an average of 5 drinks pp (we can’t bring our own alcohol so I don’t have to worry about ordering, this is just for budgeting purposes).

I know some people will drink more, but there are also some in our group who don’t drink at all or drink very little.  So…should I up my estimates by one drink?

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