Quantities: Allow for one bottle per guest, unless the majority of people will not be drinking or if other types of alcohol will be available. Letting the wine supply run dry is the worst sin a host can commit, so it is better to err on the side of plentitude. You can always enjoy any extra bottles in the weeks after the party or use them as an excuse to host another shindig.
Shaggy Dogs: Unless your party is for hipster sommeliers, opt for “shaggy dogs” — that is, immediately likeable crowd-pleasers. This is not the time to teach your friends to like the wine equivalent of anchovy terrine; instead, choose an approachable, comforting type, like a vinous version of the Neelys’ lasagna. Here are three great shaggy dog wines:
Prosecco: It's bubbly, fruity and festive. This Italian favorite will welcome your guests to the party better than a bearded collie’s wagging tail.
Albariño: This zingy Spanish white quenches thirst while pleasing those who like their wine flavorful but not sweetly oaky.
Malbec: This beloved pour from Argentina nails the bull’s-eye of palate pleasure with ripe, plummy flavor and typically soft, velvety texture.
Mark Oldman is a wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers