Step 1: Select the wines
The wine is obviously the most crucial component to your sparkling wine party and selecting a variety will not only ensure that you have something for everyone, but also encourage your guests to explore different styles of sparkling wine.
You don’t have to splurge on expensive French Champagnes. High quality sparkling wines can be found at a much more approachable price point from wineries like Domaine Carneros, which employ the same method traditionelle (meaning the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle) as used by French Champagne houses.
Choose wines that are both dry (like an Ultra Brut) and sweet (like a Demi-sec), or sparklings made with different grape varieties. For example, Blanc de Blancs, like Domaine Carneros’ Le Rêve, are crafted with 100 percent chardonnay grapes, while Blanc De Noirs are made solely with pinot noir grapes. Others are blends. This Sparkling Classics trio is a great place to start, or opt for the Sumptuous Sparkling Sampler for something a little more special.
For a true party-pleaser, throw a late-disgorged sparkling wine into the mix. These wines spend more time aging on the lees (yeast) in the bottle, which results in an added complexity and rich, nutty flavors.
When considering how much wine to purchase for your party, keep in mind that each bottle of sparkling wine yields about eight glasses. Expect each guest to have at least one drink per hour, so multiply your guest count by the number of hours your get-together will run, then divide that number by eight. You can also use an online drink calculator, like this one from Evite.
It doesn’t hurt to add a few extra bottles. Nothing stops a good time quicker than a wine shortage and if you have leftovers, you get to drink it.