By Al Edenloff
Openers. There are more options than you can shake a cork at – electronic openers, uncorking machines with wooden bases and ornate handles, pump-style openers with low-pressure cartridges and endless styles of corkscrews.
If simplicity and functionality is your goal, consider a twist-style corkscrew that’s housed in plastic. Position the plastic ends of the opener over the edge of the bottle and twist the handle. The corkscrew in the middle drives into the cork and removes it as you twist.
A tip: Buy extra corkscrews to stash in a suitcase or bag for spur-of-the-moment picnics or hotel stays.
Pourers. It’s annoying when drops drip down the bottle or onto the tablecloth when pouring, especially if it’s a staining red wine. Prevent that by buying a dripless pourer. Once again, there are many options on the market. One good and inexpensive product is a drop stop wine pourer – a thin, flexible silver mylar disk that you roll up and insert into the neck of the bottle. Voila! No more spills.
Aerators. To breathe life into your wines, consider purchasing an aerator. Air helps release subtle flavors and aromas locked into the wine. That’s one of the reasons for swirling wine in your glass. You can make a cheaper wine taste more complex or help a well-aged wine reach its full potential by letting it mingle with the air.
Stores are filled with options. Invest in a decanter, which typically has a broad base and fluted top. Pour the wine into the decanter and let it breathe. Or use a Vinturi. Hold this tube-like device over your glass and pour. The Vinturi funnels the wine in quickly and mixes in the right amount of air, while straining out any sediment.
Wine charms. These are functional and fun. They come in all kinds of different shapes, colors and styles, often containing funny phrases or sayings.
Have your guests pick ones they like and loop it around their glass so they know which glass is theirs despite setting it down among other glasses.
Have fun exploring the gadgety world of wine!