By Franny Myers, Gen5 Wine Club Associate

I love a good dinner party. I come from a long line of amazing hostesses–my mother took home a purple ribbon at the South Dakota State Fair for her table setting demonstration in 1972. Despite my impressive lineage, when it comes to dinner parties, my ambition far outweighs my skill.

So, I turned to Kate Hayes, Prairie Berry’s Wholesale Manager and Employee Educator for some advice.

Question: Dinner party day is upon us. I’ve braved the grocery store, I’ve cleaned the house, I’ve paced the living room wondering if I should call the whole thing off. What’s next?

Answer: You’ve done the hardest part! The wine and food are the FUN part of planning a dinner party…as long as you feel prepared. So, here we go!

How many bottles of wine should I have on hand for a party of six?

There are four standard (6 oz) pours in a 750ml bottle of wine. Consider what part the wine will play in the dinner party. Is it for the appetizer/salad course? If so, there’s a lot more wine to come. Plan on 1 to 1.5 glasses per guest (two bottles).

As you proceed through the planning, consider that your guests will most likely linger over dinner and enjoy two full glasses per person (three bottles). Dessert wines can be poured in much smaller amounts; think 3oz per guest. Stick to one bottle and some great coffee for your dessert course.

How many kinds of wine should I purchase?

I would stick to three in the scenario listed above. A fun, refreshing wine to welcome your guests and enjoy appetizers/salad, a well matched wine for the main course, and a fun dessert wine.

People will drink the wine you offer them, so don’t plan on having six different wines for six different guests. They will love what you’ve chosen to pair with your food.

For dessert, should it be a wine float?

Ha! That would be interesting to say the least! If you would like to actually incorporate wine into your dessert, consider making a wine slush or sorbet with Prairie Berry Made Frost Bite.

If you would like wine to go with something you’ve prepared, stick with this simple rule: your wine should be sweeter than your dessert so that your wine isn’t lost in translation. Having a dark chocolate torte? Consider a rich, fortified wine. Strawberry shortcake? Consider Prairie Berry’s Strawberry Moscato Fusion for a perfect pairing.

Don’t forget! Have sparkling water or soda on hand for guests who may be driving.

Thank you, Kate! With the food ready and the wine set, the only thing left to do is host. Purple ribbon, here I come!