1. Should I rent glassware or buy it?
For parties of 20 people or more, renting makes sense. It will cost up to $1 per stem or so, and there’s no cleanup involved. Contact a party rental company (they’re listed in the Yellow Pages). If you throw frequent parties, buying glasses may be a better bet. Crate & Barrel’s Viv line runs $3.95 a stem (crateandbarrel.com).
2. Can I use one glass for red wine, white wine, water and Champagne
Yes, for three of the four. The Riedel Vinum series Chianti/Zinfandel glass ($44 for two; williams-sonoma.com) is high-quality stemware that works very well for both red and white wines and can serve as a water glass, too. For Champagne, Robert Mondavi by Waterford flutes ($50 for two; waterford.com) feel especially nice in the hand.
3. How many servings are in a bottle of wine?
How Much Wine Do You Need?
The F&W superfast guide to calculating how much wine you’ll need for a party.
Wine Suggestions: Inexpensive, versatile, delicious wines for every gathering
Wine Serving Tips
About how long does it take to bring wine to the proper serving temperature?
White Wine (serve at 55°)
In a refrigerator: 1.5 hours
In a freezer: 40 min
In ice & water: 20 min
If it’s been stored in a refrigerator, keep it at room temperature for 20 min
Red Wine (serve at 65°)
In a refrigerator: 20 min
Coping with Red-Wine Stains
One foolproof way to get red-wine stains out of carpets and upholstery is Wine Away ($9; 888-946-3292 or evergreenlabs.com), a spray made of fruit and vegetable extracts. If you don’t have Wine Away, blot up as much of the stain as possible with a paper towel or clean cloth, saturate the area with cold water, blot that up, then apply a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Let the paste dry, then vacuum it up.