When it comes to alcohol and weddings, there are lots of decision to be made. If you are self-catering (or can provide your own alcohol) how much do you buy? What if your guests aren't big drinkers? What if you don't like wine? Can you return alcohol that isn't used?
I am joined by the lady with all of the answers in this Bridechilla wedding alcohol Q&A episode, Jacki Strum, founder of ThirstyNest, first wine & spirits registry for the modern couple.
Listen to Bridechilla episode 338
Why "Stock-the-Bar" Parties Are the Next Big Wedding Trend
As you may have noticed, the current generation of brides and grooms are get married significantly later than their parental counterparts. This change in turn has created a new trend in lieu of a traditional Bridal Shower called “Stock-the-Bar Parties.” After all, you probably already have a toaster and dish towels.
What is a Stock-the-Bar Party? This super fun alternative is perfect if you've already created a home with your fiancé. Rather than registering for things you may already have or don’t need, you can register for your entire home bar and wine collection. Wouldn't you rather a bottle of bubbly than a gravy boat? Below is a breakdown of how we would recommend setting up your gift registry for the perfect Stock-the-Bar Party with ThirstyNest – the first wine and spirits registry for the modern couple.
Add a mix of both special age-worthy wines and casual options. For the age-worthy wines, about a case worth (12 bottles) is the right amount. You'll only need a small to moderate wine fridge for safekeeping, and it's easy to move. There's something so special about saving bottles to open together for a special occasion. Some of my favorites would be Cristal Champagne 2009 Louis Roederer for a one-year anniversary or Robert Mondavi 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for a 5-year anniversary.
As for everyday wines, it's all about whatever the couple likes, which is what makes the registry such a great tool. They can make their selection really personal. I like to have my favorite workhorse wines around that pair with all different kinds of dishes and occasions. That includes dry rosé like Belle Glos 2016 Sonoma Pinot Noir Blanc — which is just as fitting for a trip to the beach as it is with a holiday meal. Lastly, some lovely Oregon Pinot like this Sokol Blosser 2015 Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir, that can be enjoyed with lean meat dishes or even a hearty vegetarian meal.
On the spirits side, as with anything wedding related, it really depends on your personal taste as a couple. My recommendation would be a good mix of cocktail essentials and some dram-worthy brown spirits. On the cocktail end — a great vodka, gin, whiskey, and tequila, along with your stirring mixers such as vermouth and Campari, are a good place to start to build your bar. In the sipping neat section, I like to have one fantastic bourbon and one classic smoky Scotch.
As for the serving tools, the absolute must-haves would be a great set of wine glasses, a wine opener, and some cocktail tools. This 16-piece wine glass set ($220 for set of 16 glasses) is gorgeous and comes with a 10-year warranty in case you break a glass. That means you can feel comfortable using them on a weeknight or with company. I love a gorgeous personalized wine opener and decanter along with a good set of cocktail tools and glasses.
Photo by Alexandra Golovac
Lastly, a place to put all of those amazing gifts! For wine, there are a variety of wine fridges and racks available that range in size to fit a collection from 6 to 300 bottles. A good place to start would be in the 32-bottle range so you can store your gifts with a little room to grow. For spirits and tools, bar carts are especially fabulous and you can even find one that works for a small-space living.
Hosting a Stock-the-Bar Party is the perfect solution for today’s couple. You can level up on your ability to entertain while creating new experiences with your friends and family. Don't worry: setting up the registry will be almost as fun as enjoying your gifts with ThirstyNest. Feel free to reach out with any questions to help you get started at email@example.com.