Party Planning 101
Food & Wine
Wine is a natural part of both gatherings and celebrations due to its remarkable ability to liven up both food and people. Our staff at The Fresh Market is happy to help you take some of the stress out of event planning by offering easy to follow solutions for your special occasion.
If you are not sure what food to serve; check out our Entertaining Ideas - a great place to get some ideas.
For the wine, the areas that are usually of the most concern are the amount, the type of wine and the cost. The Fresh Market has wines that will fit your taste, budget and menu.
How much to buy?
For most occasions, you should count on 1 glass of wine (or beer) per hour per person. This is an average and you may need to adjust up or down based on the particulars of the occasion or the guests. Also, you will want to buy some extra so you don’t run out, but the good news is that unopened wine or beer will keep for weeks if you have extra. Worst case scenario, if you have too much, you may need to have another party.
What type of wine?
You should have both red and white available for your guests. Again, to play it safe split the amount of red and white down the middle if you are not sure of your guests’ preferences in advance.
For an appetizer course, many common offerings tend to be salty. Offering your guests a glass of bubbly to greet them is a really good way to set a festive tone. Most sparkling wine is surprisingly food friendly and great with salty snacks that range from popcorn to caviar.
For the main course, keep it simple. Even when entertaining large crowds, there is no real need to have more than 2-3 wines offered at any given time. A red, a white and possibly an off dry white are enough options to keep most guests happy. Sticking with versatile wines like Pinot Noir or Cotes du Rhone on the reds, and lightly oaked Chardonnay or a dry Riesling for the whites should work well when in doubt. For more specific suggestions, please see the food and wine pairing section.
For dessert, don’t forget to seal the meal with a kiss, a kiss of dessert wine that is. At The Fresh Market, we carry a selection of Ports, Sherries, and other dessert wines for you to try. People only need a small amount to bring out the vibrant flavors of dessert, but it makes a lasting impression. An ice wine never fails to surprise and delight guests.
No need to fear here either, we can keep your budget intact. The Fresh Market has a carefully selected wine section that is large enough for you to choose from hundreds of offerings, but small enough so that you don’t need a map to find your way out. We have a wide range of wines that are about $10 or less a bottle from around the world. These are our “Everyday Wines” selected and put in one spot so that you won’t need a PhD or a second mortgage to figure out what you are serving that evening.