Stocking a wine bar can be as simple as having a bottle opener in your kitchen drawer or as complex as having a cellar full of the finest wine that is managed by a specialist. Everything in between is based on what you like aesthetically, what you have space for, and the amount of entertaining you prefer to do at home. Here’s what I recommend as a wine bar starter kit – the things you will need to enjoy wine drinking on a daily basis and be ready for company at a moment’s notice.
A bottle opener you know how to use is the first thing you should purchase, even before actual wine. Feeling comfortable serving your guests will make the night run more smoothly. So if you aren’t skilled with a waiter’s opener or ah-so, try the rabbit. (Also a quick tip on opening: take the foil off first, then the cork. It sounds obvious, but I can’t even count the number of times I’ve watched people try to pull the cork out through the foil!)
After a bottle opener, decent stemware should be considered. Riedel is a brand commonly used by oenophiles. I like the fool-proof aspect of this tasting set.
Towels, a decanter, an aerator and stoppers will prepare you for drips, leftovers (is there such a thing?) and dealing with fuller-bodied varietals that need a bit of opening up before drinking.
No matter your plans for entertaining or celebrating, I recommend having at least three bottles of wine in stock at all times – something bubbly for celebrations and a medium-bodied red and white for serving last minute guests or for treating yourself on a Friday night in. I say medium-bodied because you might not be able to plan what you make based on your wine stock, or you might just want to chill with a glass curled up on the couch. Either way, you will have what you need to be able to open and serve it anytime.
- Riedel Wine Glasses
- 3 Piece Rabbit Opener Set
- Bar Cart
- Veuve Clicquot Brut NV
- Maipe Malbec Reserve, 2010
- La Crema Chardonnay Monterey, 2011
- Flour Sack Tea Towel in Red Poppy
- Mountain Tea Towel
- Faceted Wood Bottle Stoppers
Jamie Hurst is a lifestyle blogger who writes about art, fashion, travel and wine on her blog, High Heeled Traveler. You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter via @highheeldtravlr.