Man pouring a glass of wine.

We have hosted many Christmas celebrations over the years, and bar and wine essentials are just as important as food, fun, games, and gift exchanges. The drinks need to be flowing! But sometimes, we spend so much time focusing on the items we’ll need for the dinner table that we forget about the bar. With that said, there are some great bar and wine essentials that are worth looking into before the holiday season begins so you’re well prepared. Once you’re well stocked, you’ll find you use these again and again for other events, celebrations, or even just casual gatherings with friends and family.

Know which drink is yours 

Wine glass charms

One issue I often find arises when we have groups of friends over is that everyone puts a wine glass down, then forgets which one belongs to whom. Instead of examining the glass for lipstick marks, you could grab a set of cute charms that hook to the stem of the glass for easy identification. Ones like the Signa silicone glass markers can clip around the stem or opposite edge of a glass, or even hook around a straw for kids’ drinks. They come in eight distinct colours so you’ll always know which glass is yours.

gold flower wine stopperPreserve leftover wine

Leftover wine? What’s that? Jokes aside, sometimes the party goes on longer than anticipated, and the wine bottles begin the stack up. If you find you have a bit leftover after all of the guests have said their goodbyes, a bottle stopper will keep the remains of an uncorked bottle fresh for another night or two. This helps avoid you drinking more than you want, or wasting half of a really expensive bottle. Go festive with one like the Handcrafted gold flower designed wine stopper that also conveniently doubles as a candle holder.

Make drinks look and taste cool

ice sphere in drinks

If you want to impress your guests with cool drinks that are both refreshingly cold and look awesome, consider picking up ice molds that can freeze water into shapes beyond the standard cube. These usually come as spherical circles of ice that add a touch of fun to drinks but also melt much more slowly so no one ends up with quickly watered down libations. Pop one into a whiskey on the rocks, or add them to non-alcoholic punch and the kids will love it, too.

If you happen to be looking for a new refrigerator anyway, you could consider a new model from LG with craft ice, which can make these round balls of ice right from the built-in dispenser, along with traditional cubed and crushed.

An alternative is whiskey stones, which you can easily pop into the freezer and use to chill a drink without watering it down. This whiskey stones set comes with not only six stones but also two tumblers and a pouch to keep the stones neatly tucked away in your freezer until the next use.

Keep the drinks flowing

Bartesian cocktail machine

There’s nothing worse than wanting to open a nice bottle of corked wine and being unable to find a corkscrew. Grab one with a built-in spring so you don’t need to tug hard to get the cork to come out.

bar and wine essentials - crystalite bohemia quadro 3-piece whiskey decanter

If your party is less Sex and the City and more Mad Men, opt to keep the two fingers of whiskey flowing with a classy-looking decanter, like the Crystalite Bohemia quadro 3-piece whiskey decanter, which comes with a pair of matching glasses.

For playing bartender and making fancy cocktails, a cocktail shaker might come in handy. I love using mine for everything from homemade mojitos in the summer to margaritas for Cinco de Mayo and, for the holidays, a bit of rum punch or a shaken martini.

Go the extra step with the Bartesian premium cocktail maker, which makes it simple to cater to guests with all types of fancy cocktails and drinks. Add your own spirits and use the capsules (sold separate though it does come with a sample pack) to be your own mixologist at home. You don’t need to worry about the juices, syrups, bitters, and other necessities. Just pop in a capsule, add the desired spirits, and you can make everything from a Tom Collins to a classic martini.

Add some bubbly

Aarke soda machine

No, I’m not referring to champagne, although champagne is a great idea for toasting as well. I’m talking about a sparkling water maker, which will quickly become one of your favourite bar accessories. Serve up plain sparkling water to refresh guests and cleanse their palettes until the next course (or drink) or liven it up with some fresh fruit, cucumbers, mint, or flavouring drops.

But you can also add flare with a bit of homemade sparkling water: think mimosas on Christmas morning, an amped up sangria, or sparkling soda for the kids. SodaStream is the most well-known brand in this space, and one of those machines would be perfect for the bar. I also reviewed the Aarke Carbonator 3 sparking water maker last year and while it’s on the more expensive side, I would highly recommend it as a stylish, easy to use, and convenient option to add to the home bar as well. Since it doesn’t require being plugged in for power, you can use it just about anywhere for a quick splash of carbonation to any drink.

Ensure easy access

Hisense wine cooler shelf

You want your guests to be able to see the selection of drinks you have available. A wine rack is a great way to showcase what you have as well as instantly store any wine bottle gifts you’re given by guests. You could also consider investing in a wine cooler if you have the space for one. These not only serve as storage but also keep your wine at the perfect temperature. Ones with dual temperature control have shelves for your cabernet and pinot grigio so both are kept sufficiently cool, to the perfect temperature for optimal consumption. You can also learn more about the benefits of having a wine cooler on the blog.

If you and your guests are more into beer, soda, and coolers, consider a mini fridge. This allows you to store a wide selection of drinks for guests to grab and go without constantly opening and closing the fridge. If you are gathered in the living room or the basement, you can plug the mini fridge in nearby for the festivities for quick and easy access.

Check out plenty more bar and wine essentials at Best Buy.

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.



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