We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.Close

To maintain your security you have have been logged out from Waitrose Cellar due to no activity. Sign in againClose

Order by phone 0800 188881

Suggested site content and search history menu Search wine or bin number
Please enter 3
or more characters
Shopping Cart

The perfect host

Talk to Andrew about buying
wine for your special occasion

Wine for your special occasion from Waitrose Cellar
The Perfect Host

When planning that perfect get together, whether it's for an intimate family dinner or a large wedding, knowing how to buy wine for the occasion is essential. You have to consider quantity, quality, food pairing, glassware and much more, which can sometimes seem quite daunting.

I am delighted to share with you the guidelines I use when planning a celebration; if you have any more questions or would like advice tailored to your occasion please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Andrew Riding
Planning wines for a celebration?

You can now talk to Andrew or any of our Cellar specialists directly on
03456 100 304
(Monday - Friday 9am-5pm)

The Perfect Host

The Perfect Host

On average a bottle of fizz will give six glasses and a bottle of still wine will give you four to five glasses. For everyone that will indulge, there will be others who do not partake at all. I always suggest allowing half a bottle of fizz per head for receptions and canapés and half a bottle of still wine per head with a meal. This is a generous estimate so you might well have some left over for your cellar at home. It's also worth making a point of trying to balance red and white depending on the menu; I suggest you look at our food and wine pairing page for a great introduction to matching wine with a specific dish.

What type of party is it?

If it’s a formal sit down dinner with a fizz reception then you may want to limit the more expensive sparkling options but pay closer attention to the still wines. If it’s a general gathering you may need to cater for more of everything, but with less need to match specific foods as there is likely to be less attention on the wines themselves. If you are buying fizz for a large occasion and ordering enough to build in a margin of error, choose something that will age well!

The Perfect Host

How much choice do you really need to offer?

Less is more! While you may be tempted to offer a side range of drinks, you may find yourself running out of some wines while others remain untouched. A simple choice of one fizz, one red and one white will often suffice. Similarly with spirits - if you do offer them at all, it may be best to offer one cocktail to reduce potential wastage.

Punchbowls add theatre, and also save effort for you! Prepare as much as you can in advance and don’t forget the ice. Storing your glasses in the fridge until you need them for serving is always a handy tip to keep your punch cool.

Quirky Ideas

If you’re not looking to splash out on expensive champagne but still want to provide a delicious glass of fizz, adding elderflower liqueur, sloe gin or frozen raspberries to Cava or Prosecco will create a stunning cocktail.

Fantastic Party Wines

Fantastic party wines

Campo Viejo Rioja - this is a soft and fruity wine that is great when drunk on its own or with a variety of foods. If you’re looking for a great “all-round” wine then this would be perfect for the party.

Cowrie Bay Sauvignon - New Zealand Sauvignon is the most popular white wine style in the UK thanks to its appealing fruity style. This is a fabulous example, that's ideal for any event.

£22.99