Smart Tools And Accessories That Take Drinking Wine At Home To The Next Level
As people worldwide have had to take refuge in their homes, some wine retailers found themselves benefiting unexpectedly as people scrambled to ensure their home cellars were well stocked. However, since our wine culture in Asia is heavily focused on sharing wine with friends in public, shifting to home consumption has required some adjustment.
Without sommeliers to manage the pesky business of opening old bottles or keeping out sediment, many have turned to smart tools to make up the difference. Meanwhile, since polishing off a whole bottle in one sitting is often impractical (and certainly not advisable if you live alone), I’ve also heard about the pros and cons of several preservation systems.
Finally, some people are simply missing the theatre of wine, in which case a suitably ostentatious decanter or ice bucket may just do the trick.
The Cork Remover
The Durand Wine Cork Remover
A brilliant combination of Ah-so cork puller and cork screw, this is still many collectors’ top choice for extracting those tricky 100 year-old corks without having to practice ahead of time on less venerable bottles.
I received mine as a wedding gift and still have yet to suffer through the embarrassment of a single cork accidentally pushed into a bottle.
Every cheap promotional corkscrew looks like this, but none perform like this patented design.
Even as a left hander, I find the curved blade is perfect for cutting the foil smoothly and pulling the cork effortlessly (even on the rare occasion I have to go in for a second time after breaking a cork). Don’t be stuck at home without one.
The Preservation System
Probably the most widely lauded home wine preservation system, the Coravin has evolved significantly since its early days as the gift on every wine lover’s 2013 Christmas wish list. There are new applications (see the screwcaps for your top Antipodean bottles), new formats (my digital model eleven has the elegant user flow and updatability of a Tesla), and of course new colours (wine world Instagram is flooded with the Rose Gold, naturally).
This argon-based preservation system is especially beloved by dads-to-be and singletons. Though some friends pointed out that it can be less than ideal for young, reductive wines that could use some aeration, it’s nothing that a thorough decanting can’t manage.
Riedel Eve Decanter
Though I’m normally more of a pragmatist when it comes to decanters, sometimes elaborate rituals can provide us some comfort in troubled times.
This baroque, snake-shaped decanter will not only satisfy your need to add some ceremony to yet another family meal at home, but learning to use it properly will come with a real sense of achievement (and one collector tells me it is a great choice for young wines thanks to its “turbocharged oxygenation” capabilities). However, be sure to invest in some stainless steel decanter cleaning balls!
Not something strictly necessary during home isolation unless your household comprises a small village, this device is a must-have for lovers of large format bottles.
Hand-made in Switzerland (and available in gold plate, if desired) this masterpiece of engineering allows you to effortlessly pour bottles from 1.5L to 27L, depending on the model, with little risk of accidentally dumping out the sediment.
Georg Jensen Indulgence Grand Champagne Cooler
The name says it all. This fin-like objet d’art masquerading as a three-bottle champagne cooler will lift your spirits with its exquisiteness even if you only ever use it for one bottle at a time.
Refrain from ordering the matching champagne sabre unless your balcony has a good 100 feet of clearance.