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Nov 28, 2008 08:21 AM

Holiday Party - Want to avoid serving red wine

I'm hosting a holiday party for about 50-60 people at my home in a few weeks and want to avoid serving red wine (stain-factor, I know, I'm uptight) and don't want to have a full bar.

Any ideas about what to serve? What's a good selection of things to offer?

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  1. What about serving Champagne/sparkling wine? I'd be tempted to serve a variety of sparkling wines . . . sort of eliminates the idea of "don't you have any red?"

    If you DO wish to serve a variety of white wines, I would take myself down to Chambers St. and ask them to put together a variety of wines -- tell them the number of people coming over, the type(s) of food you'll be serving, and your price range. They will do an EXCELLENT job of creating an assortment for you.

    1. What kinds of food will you be serving? How wine geeky/savvy will your guests be? How much are you looking to spend? Whether you seek advice from a wine board or a wine merchant (and Chambers Street is a great recco), you'll need to provide answers to those questions.

      You should also be aware that, for some strange reason, a significant fraction (faction?) of drinkers, including people who consider themselves wine lovers, dislike white wine. Some will even refuse to touch it. So, you'll want to have something around for them to wet their whistles with.

      1. Buy a large bottle of Chateau Shout or Resolve Reserve and your "no red" policy can be shelved ! If not, I think bubbly is the way to go.

        2 Replies
        1. re: TonyO

          Oh, that's funny.

          Really, nyeat212, short of redecorating your house with a maroon color scheme, probably best to familiarize yourself with the many red-wine-stain removers than inveterate red wine drinkers use to keep their white sofa pristine and their beige Berber spotless.

          Red Wine Away is a good product. A Borax-and-water solution in a spray bottle is your friend (research this on the web). A good steam cleaning company that guarantees their work should be in your address book. Please avail yourself of these remedies so you can serve red wine and entertain without fear.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Since we have white carpet, no room in the house is without Wine Away. If there IS any sort of stain left, SpotShot has always knocked it out 100%. Even the area below my sideboard, where I often decant and also pour for diners, looks as good as the day the carpet was installed. Below the table, we had a nephew knock over a glass of red Burg. You could never find the spot.


        2. Gosh, it's your party, and you can do whatever you want to, however I'd be taken aback if I was invited to a large holiday party and there was no red wine. If you're inviting your employees, then they'll have to deal with it and smile I suppose. Or, if you know your guests are mostly soda or domestic beer drinkers, you could probably get past it with just punch.

          But if you have any foodie friends, and I assume you do since we're meeting on this website, then you'll have wine drinkers. And they will be red wine drinkers. White wine will not do. (I agree with Carswell.) Besides, people bring wine to parties, even if they're told not to, and it's mostly red wine. If you don't have any open, they'll find your wine opener and you know where that will go.

          If you're going to have sixty people at a party, you'll have end up having a few crumbs and spills here and there. Hopefully people will be careful. Perhaps if you're very concerned about stains you could lean towards more wine-proofing measures. Offer wine glasses without stems, which avoid spillage. If you have light colored furniture, find some festive throws to put on them (in red). Otherwise, just buy some Capture and enjoy your party!

          1 Reply
          1. re: seagrace

            <you could probably get past it with just punch.>

            We find that punch, with its high sugar content, stains far worse than red wine!

            I'm in the group that thinks buying a supply of Zout or Wine Away or Resolve is the way to go, and then serve an assortment of red, white and sparkling. It's more festive!