Weird Wine Accessories Experts Say You Actually Need
Don't keep things bottled up. Find the cool accessories sommeliers use to serve and enjoy wine.
Whether you're a connoisseur of vintage wines or a shopper who buys what's on sale at the supermarket, you need a few tools and gadgets to bring out the best of your bottle. Here's a toast to the three certified sommeliers who shared their favorite accessories with us.
Aerating wine helps duplicate the aging process and makes it taste better. Just pour wine into the center cell of this handcrafted glass and let it flow through the small openings at the bottom. A set includes two glasses. Thomas Sparks, a sommelier and chef at Fort Worth's Community Taste, likes the stemmed version of these glasses.
Chevalier Collection, $49.95
"As far as wine tools to keep at home, I'd go with a Vacu Vin Wine Saver," says Don Pirone, a sommelier and the beverage director at Atlanta's Brezza Cucina. Designed for reds and whites, it comes with two rubber stoppers and a pump attachment that removes the air from an open bottle of wine. "In my experience, it will preserve freshness and prevent the oxidation of wine by a few days at room temperature."
"If you're willing to spend a little more money, then a Coravin is the tool to get," says Pirone. "Coravins use a needle to inject an inert gas through the cork to get to the juice inside, and you can keep using it for almost a month with no loss in quality." The Model One Essentials Gift Kit includes a Coravin wine system, argon gas capsules and needles, a pedestal base and carrying case.
"Using an aerator in conjunction with a Corvain wine preserver is a dream," says Patrick Crumpler, a sommelier at Seagar's Prime Steaks and Seafood, located in the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. An aerator "allows me to better breathe my big cabernets that would otherwise have been decanted if the full bottle was opened. This way, the wine has the same benefit, just more quickly." This aerator also dispenses reds and whites.
A corkcicle, says Crumpler, can be kept in the freezer. To use it, "Insert it in the neck of the wine you want to keep chilled. I can be a slow white wine drinker sometimes so this allows me to keep the white on the table and keep the chill on the wine a bit longer without a big ice bucket." The Corkcicle Air, shown here, also aerates the wine as it's poured.
Recommended by sommelier Sparks, this wine accessory comes with an infrared wine thermometer, digital LCD screen, recharging base and electric opener that handles up to 80 wine bottles before it needs recharging. It's made of stainless steel and has a built-in foil cutter.
Prices vary; available from third-party sellers via Amazon
Sommelier Crumpler recommends a wine preserving spray. "It's similar to the Coravin in that it uses argon, along with other gasses, that blanket the wine and keep oxygen away after you have pulled the cork. You can open a bottle and safely drink it over a week or two. Just pour the wine, spray in a little gas, put the cork back in and enjoy."