We entertain for many reasons; bring family together, celebrate a special event, impromptu gathering with neighbors, and so much more. Serving special wine pairings or cocktails or mocktails are crowd-pleasers at any celebration. So don't forget to consider creative drink choices when planning your party menu.
You don't need all the new gadgets to create a home bar that delivers a variety of drink choices. A few basic essentials will ensure you are well prepared in the beverage department. Check out our Barware and Glassware shop to find exquisite yet practical bar accessories and glassware that will keep you well-stocked for your next gathering.
When it comes to wine, taste is subjective. It's all about what tastes good to you and paired with your favorite foods.
Things you need to remember about wine; consistent low temperature, limited light, and humidity. These are important if you want to age wines for a longer period of time. If not, remember to keep the bottles in a cool, dark place that doesn't change. A wine fridge holds quite a lot of wine under optimum conditions and is a good choice if you plan to store more than a half dozen bottles. The average size fridge hold about 30 bottles, which if you like to entertain, you will outgrow. A wine fridge or cellar is a must for those who entertain often or enjoy wine at home regularly.
An excellent choice is the Koolatron 45 Bottle Dual Zone wine cellar
It has 2 zones for both red and white wine and is relatively quiet. The only thing you will have to keep in mind is bottles come in many sizes. Champagne, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Bordeaux bottles are usually wider at the base or longer which will decrease the number of bottles it can hold.
Wine Aeration and Decanting
Wine will always taste better with aeration. You can either decant or aerate it through a device or both. Wine Spectator says "Exposing wine to air does two things: it activates oxidation and evaporation. Oxidation is what makes an avocado turn brown after its skin is broken, and evaporation is the process of liquid turning into vapor.
Wine is made up of hundreds of compounds, and with aeration, usually the volatile undesirable compounds will evaporate quicker than the desirable, aromatic and flavorful ones. After a while, aerated wines begin to oxidize, and the flavors and aromas will flatten out. The more dense and concentrated a wine is, the more it will benefit from aeration and the longer it can go before beginning to fade. You probably don’t want to aerate delicate older wines for long, as you can miss out on their unique aromas, but they’re often decanted to remove sediment."
The Riedel Ultra Decanter and Zalto Mystique Decanter are both excellent choices. I use the Riedel for most of my needs and Zalto for special occasions.
If you want something fast and compact, the Vinluxe PRO Aerator will do just fine.
What's the recommended serving temperature for wines? Just in case you wanted to
know:-) Red wine should be 62 to 68 and white should be 49 to 55 degrees fahrenheit.
It might be obvious, but a nice bartender's corkscrew is invaluable for the ease of uncorking any bottle.
If you have a troublesome cork and it disintegrates on you, push the cork in and strain it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a decanter.
Cocktails and Spirits
Cocktails can be serious or whimsical, traditional or trendy, or anything in between. The artistry in cocktails is phenomenal. As in Haute cuisine, handcrafted cocktails are fresh, elevated, creative and delicious.
To avoid the dreaded bottleneck at the beverage station, keep your specialty cocktails to a maximum of 3 options. And within those 3, select cocktails that use similar ingredients and make the mixes ahead of time in order to pour mixer, alcohol, then shake or stir.
A good bar set is invaluable for making cocktail making a breeze.
Other practical items are an ice bucket, beverage tub, cocktail set, and in trend at the moment is to have a french press for cocktails.
Who knew cocktails can be muddled and infused in a french press.
Keep some frozen accompaniments that are a part of your drink options that won't water down your drinks. Instead of ice, why not use frozen grapes to keep your white wine cold or frozen blueberries for your fruity drink option.
Whiskey Stones and Ice Balls
For straight spirits, there are whiskey stones or chilling stones to keep them cool without being watered down. If you want an impact make ice molds with large round ice balls or even fun shapes like skulls.
Have fun and keep it simple. Everyone will love the effort you made and the results.
Check out our Barware Essentials shop to find fun and practical bar accessories and glassware that will keep you well-stocked for your next gathering.