The Six Wine Accessories you Actually Need
There are thousands of wine accessories on the market, available both online and at countless retail outlets. Everything from fancy corkscrews to aerators, wine fridges to wine racks. With all the wine accessory “noise” how do we decide what we really need?
As an experienced wine drinker and having worked in the industry for more than a decade, I have a pretty good idea of what is necessary and what is not. Here are my recommendations;
The world is not all screw caps (yet!) so a good foil cutter will save you time and possibly injury. Although some bottles come with a handy tab and the small knife at the end of your corkscrew can do the job, a foil cutter is still the fastest and easiest way to remove the foil from a bottle, especially if you are opening multiple bottles.
I’m still a corkscrew purist. Fancy gadgets just don’t do it for me. Maybe it’s the whole romantic notion of opening a great bottle with an old fashioned pull of the corkscrew. But, if you suffer from arthritis or another condition that makes it difficult to operate a manual corkscrew, I recommend a “rabbit” style corkscrew.
Available in many styles, materials and price ranges, a wine stopper is an absolute must if you tend to not finish an entire bottle in one sitting. It won’t preserve your wine forever but it will give you at least 24-48 hours to finish what you started. Tip: I keep my unfinished wine in the fridge. If you want to serve it at room temperature the next day, pull it out and give it some time to warm up before enjoying.
Most red wines will benefit from some air time, allowing the aromas and flavours to open up. A decanter can accomplish this quite well – no need for an aerator. And, a decanter can be a beautiful piece of glassware to display on your dining table.
Who wants to stain their table cloth, carpet or clothing with drops of red wine? The wine accessory market offers drip collars, and although they are pretty, they are not necessary. A wine disc is designed to fold and fit inside your bottle, eliminating drips while pouring. It works. I have poured thousands of glasses of wine without a drip. The best part; they are really inexpensive.
Last but certainly not least, invest in an ice bucket. No one wants to be running back and forth from the fridge to get the white or rosé wine. An ice bucket also works well in cooling a bottle of light-bodied red wine. And again, it can be a beautiful addition to a table setting.