Tag Archives: wine gadgets

Must-Have Wine Accessories

When the weather is nice, it provides a great opportunity for outdoor entertaining. For me, there is nothing more relaxing than sitting on my patio, enjoying a delicious glass of wine.

But before we do that, we need to get the wine out of the bottle. Unfortunately, not all wine bottles come with easy twist-off tops. Some do come with screw caps, and the reason for that is a subject for another blog.

Obviously, most wine bottles have corks. For many years, the choice of corkscrews was limited. Today, we are quite lucky to have many, many choices.

Must-Have Wine Accessories

One of my personal favorites is the Waiter’s Corkscrew, which almost looks like a Swiss Army Knife. The Waiter’s Corkscrew has a device for leverage and a knife for cutting the foil. It takes a little skill to use it, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate its simple, traditional appeal. You just screw in the cork and then place the lever arm on the edge of the bottle, using the base of the corkscrew as a lever to pull the cork.

Must-Have Wine Accessories

The Twin- lever corkscrew is somewhat clumsy in size but very simple to use. You just place the corkscew over the wine bottle and turn the handle attached to the screw to get the worm into the cork. Then, you turn the second handle attached to the cylinder. If you are lucky, the cork should glide right out of the bottle. This device can be either excellent or awful, depending on the manufacturer. It comes in either wood or metal.

The Vinturi Aerator is a great invention. I tested this out one night with a couple of friends and a bottle of red. We compared the wine before and after, and everyone noticed a difference.

Must-Have Wine Accessories

I personally think it’s a great way to speed up the aeration process (if you are in a hurry).

Using this device really makes a contrast in the taste because the wine is allowed to breathe and release aromas, which gives it an enhanced flavor and a smoother finish. It is very simple to use and does not take up much time. The easiest way to use it involves holding the Vinturi over the glass and pouring the wine through, allowing your wine to breathe instantly. Be sure not to block the air holes.

Vinturi makes plenty of different aerators for use on red or white wine, or your favorite spirit.

I love my Vacu Vin set. It slows down the oxidation process, and it is great if you don’t feel like finishing the whole bottle, which does not happen too often at my house.

Must-Have Wine Accessories

It extracts the air from the opened bottle and re-seals it with a reusable stopper. Simply place the reusable stopper in the bottle and extract the air with the pump. Don’t forget to put it in the wine fridge to preserve the wine even longer.

There are lots of great wine accessories available to make your wine experience more enjoyable. You can find everything from openers, stoppers and foil cutters to spouts and drip rings.

Enjoy!

Simone

 

Did I miss one of your must-have wine accessories? Share with me in the comments below!

 

Aerators: Are They Really Worth It?

Years ago, I was working my very first wine tasting and was concerned about impressing my bosses with my speed and fluidity while opening bottles. I visited table after table, opening bottles before returning to them to push the corks back in. I figured the doors didn’t open for another half hour, so better to keep the wine fresh, right?

Wrong.

My very educated, very scary boss strode up to the table and said, “No, no, Jennifer! Wine and air are friends! Open up all of these bottles and let them breathe!”

So I did.

I was confused at first; when you learn about wine and wine storage, you read again and again about the three bullies of wine: air, light, and vibration. That’s true, at least until you pop the cork.

That night, I learned that air is wine’s “frenemy.”

While wine is slowly, gently aging in its bottle, air is the enemy, which is why we lay wines on their sides to stop the cork from drying out. However, when it’s time to drink, wine and air become the perfect partners.

Aerators: Are They Really Worth It?

Bloom

Air helps the wine bloom. Think of a rose. It’s much easier to smell the bouquet of a rose when it’s open rather than when it’s still a bud. This is the same with wine. There are many ways to get air into wine faster, which will speed up this process. Aerators are one of them.

When you pour wine through an aerator, it draws air in, merging it with the wine. This has the same effect as leaving the bottle open for about two hours or decanting it for one.

Have you ever stuck your nose into a glass only to receive the strong smell of alcohol or rotten eggs? Aeration, even with a decanter, will help these negative components evaporate faster, leaving only the floral, fruity, or spicy aromas of the wine.

I have two aerators at home. One is a bottle-top style called Soireé, which you insert into the bottle while pouring. The other is called the Vinturi. This system stands over your glass, allowing wine to flow through it as you pour. I like both, and they both work well, but the Soiree is more convenient and about half the price.

Aerators: Are They Really Worth It?

Unlike the Vinturi, the Soiree works by forcing the wine to the sides of the bulb, getting more air to the surface area of the glass of wine poured. It looks a little silly, but you must completely invert the bottle to get the proposed effect. With the Vinturi, you have to be careful not to pour too fast, and you need a steady hand since you have to hold the Vinturi over the wine glass. The exception is if you buy the added tower, which helps a lot but becomes a bigger item to store.

I was very impressed the first time I actually noticed a difference between wine that was straight from the bottle and wine that had been poured through an aerator. I had opened a bottle of Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 for a party and found it to be tight and acidic. With many glasses to pour, I didn’t get proper time to see how it would open up in the bottle. Two weeks later, I happened to be at my sister’s house and they were about to serve the same exact wine. I had just gotten my brother-in-law the Vinturi for Christmas and suggested we should use it. It made a tremendous difference. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon went from tight and acidic to lush, bold and robust. After that, I was sold.

Please let me know how your first experience with an aerator went in a comment below!

Enjoy!

– Jennifer Laurie