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Friday, December 5, 2014

Wine Accessories as Gifts

Everyone has at least one person on their holiday shopping list who already has everything. Okay, they have everything in your price range. How about a nice wine accessory? There is a lot more junk out there (admittedly, some of it is cute) than useful items.

Every wino should have one good cork puller. The best is the rabbit-type opener. Lots of people swear by the waiter's, or pull tab, opener, but mostly I just swear at them. The waiter's pull is smaller and usually cheaper, but requires more muscle as it requires more leverage. Not that I'm too weak to pull out a cork, but the awkwardness and the energy required can lead to accidents like spilled wine or corks broken off in the bottle. The rabbit-type puller alleviates all this. You'll spend $50 to $75 on one. Just Google search on something like "rabbit wine opener" and you'll see lots of choices.
The good, and a bit expensive
The not too bad, and less expensive

The ugly cheap crap
I find the Ah-so, or two-pronged cork puller, also very useful especially on older, more fragile corks, or if a cork has broke off in the neck of the bottle. They're easy to carry around and they are cheap. I've used these to remove corks that I could have never retrieved with a screw-type puller.
A foil cutter is nice as it cuts the top off that pesky decorative capsule so you can get to the cork. The waiter's cork screw come with a small blade to cut it, but the foil cutter is faster, easier, and makes a better-looking cut.

There are a million other gadgets like a decanter, pour spout, bottle holder, Vinturi (look it up), etc. About the only other thing of use might be some good wine glasses. A set of two nice, big Riedel glasses are usually appreciated. Don't be confused by the ten different types, one for each kind of wine. Just get some nice, big ones. If you know they drink mostly Chardonnay, Cabernet, or Pinot Noir then you can get the specific glass.

Don't get the stemless ones if their hands aren't big enough to wrap around them. Some people dis the stemless as you're allowing body heat from your hand into the wine. If you are standing up and holding the glass the whole time that's true, but most people take a drink then set it down. And the stemless are less likely to be knocked over.
This is the Cabernet glass,
the Pinot one is even fatter



WTF?

Hint: Don't get this for your SO