How Much Wine Should You Buy For Thanksgiving?

If you've been tasked with hosting Thanksgiving this year, then you know that there's tons of work that goes into planning out the big day. There are a lot of mistakes you're probably making when cooking your Thanksgiving turkey, so it's important to do your research ahead of time, including figuring out what size turkey you need to buy based on how many people will be dining with you. 

Then you need to figure out what kind of side dishes you're making, how much of each recipe you'll need to churn out, and when you should go grocery shopping to beat the crowds. And finally, you can't host a meal without having drinks to serve. Wine is a classic choice for Thanksgiving. Not only do many wines pair well with the variety of foods on the table — dry riesling, pinot noir, sparkling wine, and Beaujolais nouveau are some of the best wines to serve with Thanksgiving dinner — but serving wine is also a way to inject some elegance into your meal, especially if you're able to spring for a special bottle. But unlike a box of stuffing, a wine label doesn't list how many servings it contains, leaving lots of people unsure how much wine to buy for Thanksgiving. It turns out, the answer isn't quite black and white. But there are some guidelines you can follow to make shopping for Thanksgiving wine easier.

1 to 2 bottles for every 2 people

You've decided what type of wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner, but how many bottles will you need? There are some general guidelines to go by. According to MasterClass, one glass of wine measures 5 ounces, meaning that every standard 750 ml bottle of wine contains five glasses of wine. But as Food Network says, "The right amount of wine to serve varies from guest to guest." Some will want a lighter pour, and some might want a larger pour. This means that a bottle of wine can actually serve 4 to 6 glasses of wine. 

They estimate, then, that for four people, you'll need 1 to 2 bottles of wine and for eight you'll need 2 to 3 bottles. For 12, you'll want 4 to 5 bottles, and for a 16-person party, you'll need 6 to 7 bottles of wine. That will allow every guest to have a glass or two. If you know that your guests really love wine, you might want to throw in an extra bottle or two to make sure there's enough to go around, especially if you plan on serving drinks before dinner is eaten. But you also want to be careful — the pairing of family and too much wine can be dangerous. And after all, it never hurts to have leftovers so you can make mulled wine.