When you walk into a wine shop or kitchen store, you usually see wine gadgets and accessories galore. Which ones are worth purchasing? Below we have some suggestions.
For cookouts, parties, travel, etc., you can’t go wrong with a double-hinged waiter’s corkscrew. It’s what employees in the hospitality, food, and wine industries use daily. The good news is that you can find one anywhere, it is very inexpensive, and it will last a very long time.
The Original Rabbit Corkscrew
For home use, I always use my trusty Original Rabbit Corkscrew by Metrokane. There are many cheap imitations, and I tried a few before I realized I needed to just pony up for the real deal because the imitation models don’t last long enough for a wine enthusiast like me. The Rabbit is readily available. I purchased mine from amazon.com. It’s also available directly from Metrokane.
The Wine Check™
In late summer 2010, I decided to take a quick trip to Napa and Sonoma for Labor Day Weekend. I wanted to purchase wine, but the last time I’d visited Napa I ended up purchasing wine and paying a fortune to ship it back. Before I departed on my trip, I noticed a product called The Wine Check™ was about to launch. It was a suitcase with wheels made for transporting wine, complete with a 12-bottle wine shipper box. I ordered it and had it delivered to my hotel in Napa. At the end of my trip, I checked The Wine Check™ with my other bag without any problems. Once I arrived at my home airport, there it was, safe and sound, with all wine intact. For three years, I’ve used mine to transport wine to and from various wine destinations.
The Wine Check™ is available directly from the manufacturer, amazon.com, brookstone.com, and other retailers. Some Napa and Sonoma wineries also sell a branded version of the bag that you can pick up while you’re visiting them. You can also order ahead from the manufacturer and they’ll deliver to your Napa or Sonoma hotel.
If you only need to transport a couple of bottles of wine home in your luggage, you can’t go wrong with The WineSkin®. I used mine for years before I discovered that I could bring home 12 bottles with The Wine Check™. It is essentially bubble wrap for wine, except that it can be closed to prevent leaks if the bottles were to get broken. However, that has never happened to me in five or so years of wine travel. I don’t seal mine permanently, so I have reused mine numerous times. They are available from amazon.com.
Plastic Wine Pourers
Technically you don’t need these to pour wine, but I use them to prevent over pouring and spillage, both at home and when I am pouring at wine tasting events. I purchased mine at my local wine shop, but you can also find similar pourers at amazon.com.
If there’s ever a time that you don’t finish a bottle of wine, our team leader Andy recommends the Ailanthus Wine Topper with Inlay. (He doesn’t like the triangle metal stoppers because he doesn’t feel like they really seal properly.) These stoppers work really well and last forever. You can find lots of lovely ones that look nice; Andy found his at etsy.com.
Photo Credits: CNP Digital Studio, author, The Wine Check, Wine Skin, author and WoodandThreads.