Must-Have Wine Accessories
Wine is a dynamic spirit and, for the best experience, requires extra special care, storage and serving. These must-have accessories range from tools designed to help you unbottle and enjoy your wine to decorative accessories designed to enhance presentation and overall enjoyment of the beverage.
Corkscrew: Traditionally, corks have been used to seal wine bottles. Corkscrews work by piercing through the cork, being wound down into it. The user applies force to the tool, and the leverage of the handle helps pop the cork out. Designs vary—a waiter's corkscrew has a sleek, curved handle, giving it a formal feel. Winged corkscrews, on the other hand, have more a bar-like feel, and elaborate form with just as much ease of use. Electric styles take even the most minimal work out of opening the bottle. All forms of the corkscrew have a place in serving wine with elegance.
Wine Stopper: Once you pop out a cork, you'd find it incredibly difficult to reinsert it. If you have an unfinished bottle you want to save for another day, a stopper will do the trick. Stoppers effectively replicate the original seal of cork, allowing you to keep wine on the counter or in the refrigerator to enjoy at a later time. For an ultra-tight vacuum seal, look for one that includes a hand pump to suck out excess air trapped in the bottle. Find them in a range of materials, including plastic, rubber, silicone, neoprene and nylon. Be sure to check if the model and material you've chosen are okay to use—some have restrictions regarding bubbly or carbonated beverages.
Aerator: This device allows oxygen to flow through and uplift the wine, creating a more robust flavor. The air brings out the individual ingredients, resulting in a more dynamic taste and a smoother sip. Pour right from the bottle through the tool. As the liquid is filtered through, just the right amount of pressure is applied to it and enough air is allowed in to open up the wine. It can be used over a decanter or a wine glass, either by the bottle or bit by bit.
Wine Chiller or Cooler: Sparkling wine and white wine are most often served chilled, while red are typically enjoyed at room temperature, though it's all a matter of preference. Single bottle chillers keep the drink at a cool, stable temperature while you sip and eat. They also make beautiful, stylish centerpieces for the dinner table or a chic bar accent. Some models will require ice, while others are made of materials with natural temperature-preserving properties, such as white marble.
Wine Rack: If possible, wine should be stored in a cool, dim place. If you plan to drink the bottle in the near future, standing them upright should be fine. If you know that the bottles will sit for a while, try to store them on their sides. This keeps the cork from drying out and becoming brittle, which makes uncorking all the more difficult. When looking for a rack, keep safety at the top of your mind. With the fragility of glass, any rack mounted to the wall should be tightly secured and sturdy. Be sure to check that the rack you've chosen fits your bottles.
What Is a Wine Decanter?
A wine decanter is a clear glass vessel into which wine is poured before serving in individual wine glasses. Slowly decanting wine separates the liquid from any sediment in the bottle, and the decanter itself helps aerate the wine prior to consumption.