A wine bar for a party at home is an excellent and cost-effective idea. It’s an elegant way of relaxing in homely surroundings while getting to know your guests. This is a chance to mingle, interact, and network. If done right, you will end up with more opportunities, meeting new friends, and creating an unforgettable experience for your guests.
Some people might find that creating a wine bar can be challenging, but with the right information, It can actually be a breeze.
With that in mind, here is how to set up a wine bar for a party at home.
Music and Atmosphere
If you are planning to throw a home party with a wine bar, then you will definitely have to take music and atmosphere into consideration.
It’s strongly recommended to spend some time compiling a music playlist that fits the theme of your party. If you can’t think of anything, then consider investing in a DJ to get the party started. If your house can support it, you can try live music. If you have a backyard with enough space, then consider a full band.
Don’t forget to create an inviting atmosphere with exterior string lights or dim lights, but bright enough so people can see what they’re drinking! In fact, candles are also great tools to help you create an intimate atmosphere. I have a whole article on how to power outdoor lights without an electrical outlet in the yard, if you’re interested you may read it here.
Location for the Wine Bar
You want to make sure that people will flow past the wine bar and into a sitting or standing area. The best thing to do is to place the bar away from the entryway to avoid a bottleneck. The most convenient place to have a wine bar is in the kitchen because it’s easier to clean up if you experience a spill.
Protect the Bar Area
You can protect the self-serve bar area by placing a mat on the counter and a rug underneath the table. If the bar is away from the kitchen, then make sure you have towels and water nearby. Laying a tablecloth over the table is an excellent idea.
If you are thinking about putting a collapsible table for the wine bar, make sure that it’s around 30 inches wide and 6 feet long to avoid long waits in the case of many people attending your event.
Make Room for the Guests
If you decided to throw a fantastic party with wine, then you have to think about a socializing room or space for your guests. This is a place where you and your guests will share stories while sipping a glass of masterpiece.
Don’t forget to provide extra space for the couch and chairs, so they can sit comfortably. This should be the ultimate place for entertainment, so make sure the room is well lit and ventilated.
Think About the Wine Storage
Wine is very complex – if the temperature is too high or too low, it can destroy the taste. This is why it’s essential to have proper storage to maintain the integrity of the taste and aroma. Make sure to set the proper temperature and humidity levels for your chosen storage.
You can opt for a built-in cabinet as storage, which might be a little bit more expensive, but it gives your wine bar a more built-in and permanent décor element. It also creates an excellent impression on all your invited guests.
Consider a Kitchen Island
Connecting a kitchen island to your wine bar will provide additional entertainment to the guest. The island provides various purposes, such as preparing the dishes to serve with the food and wine you are holding.
You can also purchase complementing bistro style chairs or bar stools and place them around the island where the guests will be sitting. This will create the perfect home bar setting that’s functional, inviting, elegant, and comfortable. This is also an excellent area where you and your guest can socialize and enjoy themselves.
Just imagine how you can prepare the dishes while talking to them and sipping a glass of wine at the same time. This is an excellent option for a host who wants to multitask and participate in the entire party experience simultaneously.
Set Up a Bar Cart
A bar cart is the most affordable way of creating a temporary wine bar for your party at home. It’s an excellent alternative for houses or apartments with limited spaces or those who aren’t ready for a renovation.
The bar cart area allows you to showcase your wine labels with the various wine glasses that you would like to serve.
THE WINE LIST
Now that you have set up the atmosphere and space for the wine bar, it’s time to explore your wine collection.
By now, you probably have a lot of questions, such as “what kind of wine to get?”, “what wine glasses should you buy?”, and “overall, what to do?” Luckily, I have all the answers to help you prepare to host an unforgettable wine party experience.
People who enjoy red wine often prefer a full-body dry-style experience. Keep in mind that your wine should not be too acidic, light, tannic, or sweet.
New World style wines are often better to have in a wine party than an Old World because they are often more approachable and softer in style with less acidity and tannin. Why not add a Cabernet or Merlot to the party?
Perfect white wines are the ones that are dry but not too acidic at the same time. Usually, a Pinot Grigio from Italy or Chardonnay from California is fantastic to add to the wine bar.
After all, people prefer wines that they are familiar with, so if you only have a space for a few options, then avoid wine that is unusual or obscure.
If you are celebrating an anniversary or birthday, definitely have some sparkling wine. If this is something special, then serve Champagne from France. Otherwise, serve a cheaper, sparkling wine option such as Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy.
Not everyone enjoys regular wine, some guests may prefer a sweeter option, so it is a good idea to have something like a Riseling from Germany or Moscato from Italy.
If you are throwing a party in the summer, then it would be a good idea to have a few bottles of Rosé nearby. If you want to get fancy without breaking the bank, definitely try a Rosé wine called Provence from the South of France.
A bottle of wine is nothing without the perfect glass to complement it. Because each wine style has its own unique characteristics based on its fruit expression, acidity, alcohol, and tannin, the various glass shapes either sharpen or soften those attributes.
Here is a wide selection of wine glasses that you should stock up on for your party:
This is typically used as the universal red wine glass. The exquisite glass Cabernet has a tall stem and large bowl to provide more surface area to promote oxidation.
When the wine oxidizes, it is soft to improve the overall flavor that uncovers its natural aroma. This is important because the glass shape directs the wine to the center of your palate, which reduces the effects of tannin to prevent that mouth-drying effect.
The Burgundy wine glass has a fishbowl shade that traps the aroma and balances the wine’s intensity. The narrow rim of the glass also reduces the acidity by directing the wine to the center of the palate.
The Zinfandel glass is designed to direct the wine to the palate through a narrow opening. This serves to accentuate the spicy and fruity flavor of the wine.
The small bowl tempers the smell and taste of ethanol from the Zinfandel. In addition to that, the narrow opening of the glass alleviates the mouth-drying effect from the tannin in the Zinfandel wine.
Pinot Noir Glass
This type of wine glass has a large surface area which allows the wine to be fully exposed to oxygen. This helps release the delicate and subtle aroma from the wine.
Also, the unique shape of the glass helps trap the aroma. The glass drags the wine to the front of the mouth, which enhances the sweet flavor and keeps the acidity under control.
The large bowl of the Chardonnay glass provides a large surface area that exposes the wine to the air. This lets the wine reveal its unique taste and aroma. The glass’s wide shape can evenly spread through the tongue and palate, amplifying various layers of flavor.
White Wine Glass
If you have a Savignon Blanc or Riseling, definitely consider a white wine glass. This type of glass is often narrow to reduce oxidation. After all, too much air can destroy the flavor of the white wine.
A narrow bowl with a narrow opening keeps the wine nice and cool. This type of wine glass often directs the wine to the center of the tongue to reduce its acidity and highlight its light flavor at the same time.
The Champagne flute, sometimes known as the toasting flute, looks very elegant and is the most common glass shape for this kind of wine.
When it comes to sparkling wine like Champagne, you want to maintain the bubbly and fizzy effect for as long as possible. Luckily, this glass is usually small with a long slender bowl and stem, which helps to preserve the bubbles, limit oxidation, and keeps the wine chilled throughout the party.
Rosé Wine Glass
This type of wine glass has a wide hip to help speed up the alcohol evaporation to release its fruity flavor. In addition, it helps create a nice swirl to release the aroma.
It’s a sin to have anyone drink a glass of wine without food. Usually, a host would offer some salty nibbles, mixed nuts, creamy cheese, and bitter chocolate at the wine party.
But if you feel adventurous, definitely serve various foods like a grilled stuffed mushroom, pastry cheese straw, bruschetta, baked Muscato with garlic and lemon, figs and olive, and much more. And if you want something simple, you can never go wrong with salted crackers, cream cheese, and salami.
OTHER BAR SUPPLIES
There are also other necessary supplies that you should not forget at your wine party. For example:
It’s essential to set out water crackers or bread where everyone can help themselves and cleanse their palate.
You want to make sure that your guests have the opportunity to try various wines at your party, so it’s essential to have a spit bucket to get rid of unwanted wine.
All the preparation to set up a wine bar for a home party may seem overwhelming, but it’s not. It’s a good idea to be ready ahead of time, so you don’t end up missing anything.
This is supposed to be a fun and educational experience, so what are you waiting for? Take our advice and create the party and wine bar that will make everyone go “Wow!”.