How Many Bottles of Wine Do You Need for Thanksgiving Dinner?

how many bottles of wine do you need for Thanksgiving dinnner - thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving is synonymous with warmth, laughter, and, of course, a bountiful feast. Amidst the delightful chaos of preparing the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, one question often lingers in the minds of hosts: How many bottles of wine do you need for Thanksgiving dinner? Estimate one bottle of wine per every two guests, here’s what you need to know.

What You Need to Consider When Deciding How Many Bottles of Wine for Thanksgiving Dinner

how many bottles of wine for Thanskgiving dinner - champagne glass dinner table

Gathering Size

Planning a Thanksgiving gathering involves a delicate balance of preparation, and the first factor to consider is your guest list. The more, the merrier, but what does that mean for your wine selection? As a rule of thumb, estimate one bottle of wine per every two guests. This ensures you have enough to go around without overflowing your wine rack.

Fun Wine Fact: Did you know that the tradition of toasting with wine dates back to ancient Greece, where it was believed to ward off evil spirits?

Drinking Preferences

Thanksgiving brings together a diverse group of taste buds. Uncle Joe might prefer a robust red, while Aunt Sarah leans towards a crisp white. To cater to everyone’s preferences, opt for a mix of red, white, and perhaps even a bottle of chilled rosé. A diverse selection ensures your guests find a wine that resonates with their palate.

Personal Note: Rose wine is a great choice if you’re not a wine person and you’re hosting non-wine people for Thanksgiving dinner.

How Long Is Your Gathering?

If you’re planning on having guests over for appetizers while the turkey roasts for 3 hours, then you’ll want to have more wine available. Wine enthusiasts tend to drink about 1 glass of wine an hour. (My wine-drinking group recently went through 8 bottles in 4 hours for a dinner party and we were 7 people; so, about 1 bottle per person, or 1 glass of wine per hour.)

Helpful Tip: Head over to this easy-to-use wine bottle calculator where you can put in guests and event length to see how many bottles of red and white you’ll need for Thanksgiving dinner.

Types of Wine for Thanksgiving

Red vs. White vs. Rosé

The eternal debate: red or white for Thanksgiving? Consider the menu; if turkey takes center stage, both red and white can shine. Red wine enthusiasts might appreciate a well-chosen Pinot Noir, while those leaning towards white may favor a classic Chardonnay. Feel free to surprise your guests with a refreshing touch of rosé for a versatile pairing.

Helpful Tip: Check out this list of wines that work with traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

Calculating Wine Bottles per Guest

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Calculating Standard Serving Sizes

Now that you’ve considered your guest list, let’s dive into the specifics. On average, a standard serving of wine is around five ounces. For a four-hour gathering, anticipate guests consuming approximately two glasses of wine. This equates to roughly half a bottle per person. Adjust these calculations based on the duration of your celebration.

Considering Drinking Habits

Every gathering has its own dynamic. Is your family more inclined to savor each sip, or are they likely to raise their glasses frequently? Factor in the drinking habits of your guests; heavy drinkers may require a bit more, while light sippers will keep you on the conservative side.

Helpful Tip: Head over to this easy-to-use wine bottle calculator where you can put in guests and event length to see how many bottles of red and white you’ll need for Thanksgiving dinner.

Tips for a Well-Stocked Wine Supply

Including Non-Alcoholic Options

Not everyone indulges in alcohol, and it’s thoughtful to cater to those who prefer non-alcoholic options. Consider stocking up on sparkling water or a non-alcoholic mocktail so everyone can enjoy. If you have more non-drinking guests than drinking guests, you’ll want to adjust your bottles accordingly.

Plan for Leftovers

The celebration doesn’t end when the dishes are cleared. Plan for post-dinner enjoyment and leftovers. Seal opened bottles with a wine stopper and store them in the fridge. This way, you can continue to enjoy the festivities the next day.

Helpful Wine Tip: Here’s how long leftover wine is good for.

Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving Wine Options

Quantity Over Quality?

When it comes to wine, you may opt for more inexpensive bottles rather than fewer higher-quality bottles or vice versa. Thanksgiving wines are an opportunity to splurge on nicer bottles, though, but if you’re guests are typical wine drinkers it may not justify the cost. Go to your local wine shop and ask them for wines that fit your budget for non-wine people. They’ll know exactly what to recommend.

Helpful Tip: A $15 – $20 USD rose wine or Chardonnay will pair perfectly with you Thanksgiving meal, but check out this full list of recommended Thanksgiving wines and suggested price ranges to find deliciously drinkable bottles.

Final Thoughts – Number of Wine Bottles for Thanksgiving

You’ll need about 1 bottle of wine per 2 people for your Thanksgiving meal. Tailor that number up or down depending on the length of your meal and the drinking habits of your guests.

Use this helpful wine bottle calculator to figure out how much wine you’ll need for your Thanksgiving meal.

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