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wine bar arrangement

Posted by teachbls (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 13, 07 at 12:50

Hi, all -

Wonder whether you can suggest an attractive/functional way to organize a simple bar for a wine/hors d'oeuvres. Specifically, I'll be renting wine glasses for about 100 guests. How best to arrange the glasses? Thanks in advance!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: wine bar arrangement

That depends on the numbr of wines you will be serving the space you have to spread out the bar, if you will be having a server, will you have a fresh glass for each wine or expect people to rinse between varieties.
Linda C


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RE: wine bar arrangement

Good questions, Linda C! We'll have chardonnay and shiraz; 10oz. wine glasses. I've got plenty of space in which to situate a bar/s. Will not have a server. I'd assume that guests would stick to a particular wine (white or red); don't expect that they'll feel the need for a fresh glass. Don't know whether it is relevant, but the event is a "trunk show" for a local artist - wine and a variety of hors d'oeuvres will be provided, but won't be the focal point. I guess I'm just wondering how to present the glasses; they'll come in heavy racks w/36 per - I'd rather not leave them in the rack, but don't know what to do otherwise!


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RE: wine bar arrangement

If the racks are wood...I think I would leave them in the rack....but I am not picturing a rack..??
I've been to many occasions like that. Sometimes the wine glasses are arranged about 2 dozen at a time at the table with the wine....others someone is circulating with trays of glasses of both kinds of wine and another with a bottle for refreshers.
If space for numerous tables is not a factor, I would have as many small tables with both kinds of wine and an array of glasses as your space dictates.
If this is mainly an art show, you don't want a flock of people clustering around the bar....but want people to be able to grab a glass and a refill where ever they are in the room.
Linda C


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RE: wine bar arrangement

That is enough guests that I would try to have more than one bar station. Maybe two or three tables?

For self serve, I'd arrange a few dozen wine glasses upside down in neat rows next to several open bottles of each wine. If they seem stable, you could possibly stack a second layer of glasses on top of the first, but I don't think I would trust guests with that. (Similarly I wouldn't trust guests with more than 8 open bottles on a table at a time - just seems to be inviting a major spill)

I wouldn't bother with any sort of artful arrangement of the glasses, because the effect of an s-curve or whatever would be quickly ruined as guests take their glasses.

If you have a skirted table or long enough table cloth, I'd keep extra bottles of wine and extra cases of glasses under the table to periodically refresh. If you have a standard 6 or 8 foot rectangular table, you can stash a couple cases of wine, a few cases of glasses, extra napkins, your bottle opener, a trash can for corks and foils, and some towels or other quickie clean up tools underneath it.

I don't think you want too many stations, because you don't want to have to spend all night refreshing the bars - easier to pull things out from under two tables than 5. But I'd plan on opening new bottles of wine and adding glasses 40 minutes or so, just so you can keep the Chardonnay cool and your nice party doesn't start to look like a frat house with dozens of empty wine bottles strewn on every table. For 100 guests, I wouldn't leave unopened bottles with an opener, because somehow the guy opening the wine always seems to be the one who will break the cork or generally make a mess.

You could set out 4 or 5 bottles of each variety at at time if you have an ice bath or other means of keeping the white chilled. I'd limit to 3 bottles of white at each station if you are setting them on the table. (Open more at the start of the party, but then taper off as people have their first drink and you are just dealing with refills)

Definitely consider a black or otherwise dark table cloth for the bars, to camouflage the drips of red wine. And provide cocktail napkins by the drinks as well as by the food.

Rectangular tables in corners seem to be a good way to allow you to scooch behind them to refresh while keeping guests out from behind the bar.

Trays for empty plates and glasses will give guests a visual cue of where to leave things, so they aren't leaving empty wine glasses all over the bar - easier clean up for you, and guests won't have to rifle through a bunch of dirty glasses in search of a clean one.

That's my $0.02 anyway. I tend to think that catering companies are on to something, so steal their time-tested strategies. Plus, I tend to be uncoordinated at inopportune moments, so I overplan for spillage.

Good luck and have fun!


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