How to Shop for the Perfect Bar Cart, According to a Sommelier
For wine lovers, setting up a home bar cart is an exciting way to show off all of your favorite gadgets. A home bar should feel sophisticated and cozy at the same time—like you've sidled up to a seat at your favorite real-life watering hole right in the comfort of your living room. With so many bar cart options, it can be difficult to know which features to prioritize. In searching for the best bar carts on Amazon, we decided to consult certified sommelier, Adam Robins, to figure out exactly what to look for in a bar cart.
Focus on Functionality Over Form
As beverage director at State Bird Provisions, Robins has a unique perspective on easy ways to equip a home bar with the streamlined efficiency of a professional bar. First off, though bar carts are a chic home accessory, Robins says to look for functionality over form and remember that bottles and glassware come in all shapes and sizes. "For best results, decide ahead of time what kind of collection, or future collection, you would like to store on your bar cart, then make sure it has the correct dimensions to store the type of bottles and glassware you want." He also recommends searching for a bar cart with a drawer to store things like polishing cloths, towels, and napkins. "That way," says Robins, "you can keep the aesthetic of the bar cart looking clean."
Look for Horizontal Bottle Slots
If you plan to store wine bottles on your bar cart, Robins recommends finding one with horizontal slots. "Wine, in general, should be stored horizontally, especially if the wines have age on them," says Adam. He explains that the wine in the bottle needs to come in contact with the cork in order to keep it moist and prevent it from drying out, which can lead to premature oxidation of the wine. He also recommends storing older bottles on the bottom, to keep them away from any direct sunlight. "Ideally, keeping the bar cart out of the sunshine altogether is highly recommended."
Store Stemware Upside Down
Finding a bar cart that has hanging notches to store stemware upside down is essential, according to Robins. "Hanging stemware upside down underneath the top of the bar is the way to go," he says, "That way, the glasses are more protected from breakage and it prevents dust from getting inside the glass, which can affect the taste of the wine."
Equipped with Robins' professional knowledge and advice, we've rounded up some of the best bar carts on Amazon to help you create a home bar that's functional and sophisticated.
- Best for Large Wine Collections: Best Choice Products Wine Cart Trolley
- Best for Small Spaces: Paxton Lifestyle Cabinet
- Best Bar Cart with Drawer Storage: HOMECHO Industrial Wine Cart
- Most Stylish: South Shore Maliza Bar Cart
- Most Versatile: O&K Furniture Industrial Wine Rack
- Best for Storing Different Sized Bottles: HOMECHO Wine Bar Cart
Best for Large Wine Collections: Best Choice Products Wine Cart Trolley
To buy: $100; amazon.com
What you'll love: It can store up to 14 bottles.
What you should know: Glasses with extra-long stems might not fit.
If ample bottle storage is a priority, this industrial bar cart might be the option for you. The sleek, steel frame houses up to 14 standard wine bottles horizontally, so you can be sure to store wine properly per Robins' instruction. Four wheels and two handlebars make the cart easy to transport, and two locking casters help secure it in place. Reviewers call it "spacious," "chic," and "modern," thanks to the exposed wood and steel style. The handlebars can double as towel holders and the dedicated racks hold up to 18 glasses upside down to prevent dust or dirt from collecting. Keep in mind that some reviewers have said the distance between shelves isn't significant, so glassware with longer stems might not fit.
Best for Small Spaces: Paxton Lifestyle Cabinet
To buy: $89 (originally $94); amazon.com
What you'll love: It's ideal for tiny apartments.
What you should know: It can only hold a few red wine glasses.
Even if space is limited, you can still have a dedicated area to keep wine and wine glasses thanks to this petite wine cart. It comes equipped with bottle storage, stemware storage, and a small drawer to hold accessories like a wine key, coasters, or bottle stoppers. Note that this unit is stationary, so it acts more like an end table or wine cabinet rather than a rolling bar cart. One reviewer called it a "great mini bar for my mancave," and another said it was "easy to put together, very sturdy, and looks beautiful in our dining area." Choose between white or espresso color options.
Best Bar Cart with Drawer Storage: HOMECHO Industrial Wine Cart
To buy: $80 (originally $86); amazon.com
What you'll love: The drawer is a perfect place to store stain sticks for those "oopsie" wine moments.
What you should know: With only a few slots for bottle storage, don't count on this storing your entire collection.
This bar cart is on the smaller side, which makes it perfect for an office or apartment bar. It comes equipped with a drawer, bottle rack, glass holder, and two hooks for hanging towels or napkins. The trolley sits on four wheels which makes it easy to move from room to room for serving, and two casters make it simple to lock it in place. Unlike some other carts with dedicated bottle slots, the open-topped wine bottle slots allow you to store bottles of different shapes and sizes (from Bordeaux to rosé).
Most Stylish: South Shore Maliza Bar Cart
To buy: $188; amazon.com
What you'll love: It will make a sophisticated addition to any room.
What you should know: There isn't much space for storing other types of liquor bottles.
Shoppers love the stylish look so much, one fan said "It's so stunning, I stand and admire it all the time." The faux marble surface and gold exterior make this piece both a focal point and an elegant accessory in any room. Better yet, the surfaces are waterproof, so cleanup is a breeze. It has ample space for storing many glasses of all shapes and sizes as well as horizontal bottle and towel racks. The wheeled rack comes equipped with two brakes, so it can be moved from room to room and secured in place when needed.
Most Versatile: O&K Furniture Industrial Wine Rack Table
To buy: $160 (originally $190); amazon.com
What you'll love: It makes a chic end table, too.
What you should know: It's stationary, so don't count on rolling it from room to room.
This stationary bar cart is perfect for storing wine and stemware, but it can also accommodate smaller liquor bottles. It has a third shelf that's ideal for housing tumblers, highball glasses, and shot glasses, so it's a great choice if you'll be serving more than just wine. Keep in mind that it isn't on wheels, so it acts more like a buffet table or end table rather than a traditional bar cart.
Best for Storing Different Sized Bottles: IRONCK Wine Rack Table
To buy: $120; amazon.com
What you'll love: It has hooks for coffee mugs, too.
What you should know: The shelves are made from particleboard, so you'll need to keep them dry to prevent warping.
Not all wine bottles are shaped the same way, so having a wine cart that can accommodate different styles is important, particularly if you're a fan of Burgundy or rosé. Thanks to the open style of the bottle slots, this wine cart has space for both standard bottles as well as larger, more decorative bottles. You can store a regular 750-milliliter bottle just as easily as a magnum bottle. This rolling cart sits on four wheels which makes it easy to move from room to room, but can also be locked in place thanks to the two casters with brakes. Dedicated racks make it easy to store stemware, while dedicated hooks make it perfect for storing mugs as well, so this bar cart easily doubles as a coffee cart, too. Keep in mind that because this bar is made of particleboard rather than real wood, you'll want to use coasters and quickly clean up any spills to prevent warping due to moisture.