An in-home bar can be your mini personal getaway, providing escape, relaxation and, of course, a good time. Once a luxury, it is now considered de rigueur by many, a place for the owner and guests to gather and sip.
But what makes for the ultimate home bar?
In addition to quality spirits and liquors, you need top-of-the-line glassware and accessories to make your bar beautiful instead of merely functional. We’ve rounded up the latest and greatest to get you started.
First thing’s first: building the ultimate home bar begins with a solid and sound lighting scheme to set the mood and give it a chic sophistication. “A sleek and sophisticated lighting scheme is a must,” says Marc Schlesser, senior designer at Arclinea New York, a world renowned luxury kitchen interior store.
In addition to excellent lighting, Schlesser recommends wine storage, a refrigerator for beer, a bar sink, shelving for spirits and glassware, drawers for spoons, brilliant glassware and an ice machine.
Perhaps most important is wine storage. With so many options available, choosing the right kind can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Arclinea exclusively carries what both Marc and Arclinea president Daniel Yarom refer to as the “ultimate props” for bachelors and wine lovers: the Vina and Vina Epicure.
“Arlinea is a world-renowned kitchen company and the maker of the Vina and its further evolution known as the Vina Epicure,” Yarom explains. “Both feature unique award-winning designs and are available only through Arclinea. In the Vina, there are two columns of wine storage on tilted stainless steel interior racks intended to display as well as preserve one’s collection.”
Vina keeps the wine between 54 and 57 degrees and at a humidity level of at least 60 percent. It’s equipped with stainless steel inclined racks, coplanar doors with semi-reflective glass and internal LED lighting. Half of the Vina Epicure is devoted to storage. The other half is a degustation area suitable for decanters. And to top it off? “The beauty of the Vina and Vina Epicure is having everything behind the beautiful reflective-glass coplanar sliding doors,” Yarom says.
The Vina comes in two sizes: 5 feet by 11 inches wide with a capacity of 96 bottles and 7 feet by 10 inches wide with a capacity of 132 bottles.
Besides the Vina and Vina Epicure, Daniel and Marc suggest high-end appliances by manufactures such as Gaggenau, Miele and Sub-Zero for wine-storage columns. Metal bar accessories by Alessi are highly recommended to make your bar look sleek and sophisticated.
Another standout is the Roche Bobois LIFT Sideboard/Bar. This super-sleek, gorgeous bar comes with a backlight that gives off a sexy vibe as you entertain your guests. The Sideboard/Bar is made in thermoformed Daquarcryl finish in numerous colors. It’s equipped with an electric opening containing its own lifting system. And have no fear: the LIFT’s interior is just as savvy as the exterior. It features a storage unit with glass rack and bottle storage on the right, and a base cast in aluminum.
Also important are the smaller yet vital things such as glassware. A stellar choice is Waterford Dungarvan Carafe. Modern intersecting cuts and linear chevrons combine with Dungarvan Barware’s sophisticated and classic 1950s-inspired crystal pattern for a luxurious and elegant look.
Another winner is the SinStella glass by Vera Pure. The base is hand made of different blown crystal glass inputs. It is cut from optical K9 glass and polished extensively, making for a one-of-a-kind sipping experience.
After all is said and done with the finishes, accessories and gear, the best advice for building the ultimate home bar is to trust your gut and personal design preferences. This is exactly what Marc Schlesser recommends. “It’s simply a matter of style preference,” he says.
Must-Have Bottles In Your Bar
So now that you know what’s required to build the ultimate home bar, you’re probably wondering about which wines to buy. From reds and whites to rosés and champagnes, the varieties are seemingly endless. Luigi Tarantino, bar manager and bartender of New York’s Sofia Wine Bar & Cafe, dishes on the bottles that you must absolutely have in your ultimate home bar collection.
An Italian Barolo or French Bordeaux (Château Margaux) is that special bottle of “don’t touch it unless I’m celebrating,” Tarantino says. He also recommends a big and bold Cabernet. “Plumpjack makes a delicious one and, if you like vanilla notes, Caymus Cabernet is delicious too.”
Also on his recommendation list is a Pinot Noir from California or Oregon. “I love keeping an easy drinking bottle of wine on hand,” Tarantino enthuses. And a crisp white wine or a sparkling rosé goes without saying. “I’m a huge fan of buttery-oaky California Chardonnays, and in the spring and summer I love French rosé.”