There are two types of people in this world: gadget people and non-gadget people. Take kitchen gadgets, for example. Often, a non-gadget person says they need only two tools in the kitchen: their hands and a good Chef’s knife (obviously pots and pans would be nice, too, but for arguments sake, we’re just talking non-essentials here). A gadget person’s kitchen, on the other hand, is stocked with any and all single function tools that can make cooking a little faster and easier: garlic peelers, strawberry hullers, olive pitters, lemon juicers, etc. We’re not saying one person is right or wrong. After all, could a person pit olives with a Chef’s knife? Sure. But if this person makes, say, batches of olive tapenade, we’re pretty sure that olive pitter would be an essential tool for them. When all is said and done, a gadget should do one thing: enhance an experience. Kitchen gadgets should enhance food prepping or cooking. Smartphone gadgets should enhance the user experience. And wine gadgets should enhance the sipping experience.
Yes, purists, you can easily open and enjoy a bottle of wine with a good corkscrew and not much else, but some of the wine accessories on the market today are helpful, fun and just plain neat! We’ve narrowed our favorites down to five and, truth be told, we even use some of these behind the wine tasting counter in our Tasting Room.
- Wine aerator – This device mixes oxygen into your wine as you pour it into a glass, thus, letting your wine “breathe” instantly. When air mixes with wine, the flavors and aromas are released; it’s sort of like decanting wine without the decanter. We were amazed when we did a side by side experiment and you will be, too! Check out the Vin-Aire Instant Wine Aerator here.
- Corkscrew – A must have. A good corkscrew is durable, comfortable and easy to use. For some, that would be a classic handheld corkscrew that you twist, anchor and pull to release the cork. For others it’s a countertop behemoth that doesn’t require much effort at all. The good news is, there is something for everyone out there. In the Tasting Room, we use the classic style corkscrew.
- Wine pourer – Say goodbye to red wine drips on your white tablecloth! Wine pourers are inserted into a wine bottle to give it a little extra lip, so those pesky little drops don’t run down the length of the bottle and onto the aforementioned linens, clothes or countertops. There are countless types on the market, from pourers that double as aerators (or triple as pourers, aerators and stoppers) to tiny foil circles that are slipped into the neck of a bottle. Our favorites (and the ones we use ourselves) are Drop Stops.
- Foil cutter – You know the shiny paper that covers the cork of a wine bottle? That’s the foil. You know how every time you try to cut one off with a knife you end up wounded along with an ugly, jagged piece of foil? A foil cutter flawlessly cuts the tip of that foil off each and every time. We love these so much we put our name on them.
- Wine saver – These nifty devices remove the air from an open bottle of wine, stopping the oxidation process and sealing in aromas and flavors. A properly sealed open bottle of wine will last days longer than one sealed with a standard cork.
There you have our favorite five. I suppose we fall into the “gadget people” category; what about you? Do you have a favorite wine gadget or accessory?