Entertaining in your home and planning for a large gathering can be a real daunting task for the novice event planner. Now, while I don't consider myself an expert by any means,I will share some thoughts on the events that I put together for groups at Mercy.
Are you working with a theme ? We have hosted several customer events with a theme in mind: Argentine or Chilean wines, Reds of Napa, or the beer tasting event that we did several years ago, come to mind.
How much wine to buy ? Two factors to help you choose. How long do you anticipate the event lasting, two or three hours ? How many guests will be drinking wine or beer ? Here is a formula to help you decide how many bottles to purchase. Take the number of guests drinking wine multiplied by the length in hours of your event and divide it by 6. The number 6 represents an approximate number of glasses you will get per bottle of wine. So if you expect 24 guests for a 3 hour event .... 24 x 3 (hours) / 6 = 12 bottles of wine. Beer planning is a little more difficult since beer drinkers can be so varied in their pace. Assume that your guests will drink at a comfortable pace of 1 beer every 30 minutes so that means 2 beers per beer drinker per hour. If you have 12 beer drinkers for this 3 hour event 12 x 2 x 3 / 24 = 3 cases of beer (24 per case).
What to serve for food ? I always recommend an assortment of cheeses and seasonal fruit for a couple of reasons, primarily among them is that they will stay fresh and inviting throughout your event and will be available to keep your guests munching on something. A variety of hot and cold appetizers or small sandwiches cut into bite sized portions are best. Select items that can be served hot for immediately passing amongst your guests and other selections which can served at room temperature that you can set out and allow you to get out of the kitchen to be a host to your guests.
Of course, the best option of all is to contact me at Mercy and let us take care of all the assorted details for you. We love what we do and we would enjoy introducing Mercy to your guests as well.