We Are Family

We Are Family

With its warmer weather and no school for the kids, Summer is the season for family reunions. For some families, reunion time means getting together at a park for a cookout, while others gather at a social hall for a potluck extravaganza. They're events that ground us and help us remember where we come from. Not every family member is enthusiastic about wine, but for those who do enjoy a glass or two, spending an afternoon or weekend with family may require the little attitude adjustment that comes in a glass.

Of course, we all love our families. But, let's face it there surely will be that one aunt, uncle or cousin who has an opinion about every topic and isn't afraid to share it with anyone and everyone who'll listen. In those moments, enjoying a glass of wine is a welcome activity.


The Choice is Yours

If you're a wine collector, there's a chance the rest of the family will look to you for suggestions or expertise regarding choosing which wine to serve. The pressure of what to bring or suggest can seem a little overwhelming. You could pull out your best vintage for a small gathering--especially when you want to dazzle the palate. Serving an interesting varietal to intrigue your fellow wine enthusiasts is another option. But, when serving wine to a large party, it's not wise to break out your best. You risk depleting your stock and not everyone is going to enjoy the same flavor profiles you adore.

At any large gathering such as a family reunion, people are there to socialize and have fun. They didn't come to learn about a new grape they've never heard of. So, don't overthink it. Your job is to please the crowd and tantalize a wide variety of taste buds.


There Will Be How Many?

First, consider how many people you're serving. How many are drinking wine? How long is the party? Some party planning experts suggest you figure that the average person drinks three glasses of red or white with dinner and one glass of sparkling wine for cocktail hour. That's great for a dinner party, but this is a large event. A gathering that spans a longer length of time, needs a little different calculation, you could easily figure one glass of wine per person per hour. Or to make it even easier, figure one bottle per person per hour.

Next, consider your budget. You definitely don't want to serve swill, but you also don't want to spend your entire budget on wine. Plenty of really good and pleasing wines are available at a price point below $20. Joining a wine club for the discount may be an option. Grocery stores or big box retailers are also an option.

Once you have your budget and quantity figured out, it's time to select your wine. Roses and whites, such as a snappy Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, are always popular and their cold serving temperatures offer a welcome respite on a hot afternoon. For those who prefer red wine, however, a California Syrah with its powerful profile is an easily drinkable o. A medium-bodied Beaujolais is another option that satisfies many palates.

The great thing is no matter what you do or what kind of wine you serve, family is worth it.


Isabella Crisman