This is just the tip of the iceberg it seems in the ever-expanding universe of wine grift, gifts. Many have websites with fuzzy science, big pictures, few words, and God-like claims. Items being promoted by social media creators to the online shops of wine legacy media. There are big dollars in the “I know the right way to drink fancy wine business”
The conversations and jokes about “proper” ways to drink, open, serve, decant, and gadgets I have made - feel icky and tasteless looking back. I have made memes making fun of those who use a winged corkscrew over the sleek, restaurant floor-ready, waiter’s corkscrew/wine key. I have made jokes about those who drink or offer wine out of short stemless “chode” glasses over a Gabriel Glas or Zalto. I have even commented on the low-hanging wine snob fruit of making fun of those who hold a wine glass by the bowl instead of the stem. We all enjoy wine in different ways and not everyone is madly concerned by the method they drink wine. I think that is a healthy state of mind. Mind your business wine nerds. In the end, if it gets in your mouth – you did it. You drank wine properly.
When I first got into wine I bought into the hype and what the wine magazines were telling me. I bought a fancy aerator and an electric wine opener that lit up. When I look back at these purchases they seem overpriced and stupid compared to a simple waiter’s corkscrew. Or letting the wine open up in a simple decanter. I believe it was because I was intimidated by wine keys and decanters. Up to then, I had bad experiences with really shitty openers that required a lot of force to pull the cork out and I did not feel I had the grace or know-how to use a decanter. I saw these magazines as a wine authority and thought these are the things wine people need. Thinking about this now, the electric item is great for people with shaky hands or certain disabilities who may have trouble opening a wine with a corkscrew. The aerators I think are still a bit over the top, but if it makes you happy, go for it.
I decided to write this post about what I would have told myself back then. Here is my list of wine tools, gizmos, and gadgets that I use and like. Again, just my opinion, use what you want and what makes you comfortable and happy. This is not an ad – except maybe where I link to my website where you can buy some of the things :-)
Schott Zwiesel 6-piece Pure Sauvignon Blanc Wine Glass Set
I use these for everything because I can put them in the dishwasher and they are very sturdy compared to other glasses I have used. I am clumsy and appreciate this. Compared to a lot of “high-end” glassware for me, these are the best value.
Even though they state they are white wine “sauvignon blanc glasses” in my opinion they are the perfect size for every wine. White, Red, Sparkling, Fortified. They are nice enough for the snobbiest-snob to not make a snarky comment and for someone who is not really into wine to say “Ooooh! These are super nice”
If you don’t want to purchase on Amazon I have seen this in kitchenware stores like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Costco.
If you want a step down in price for a more casual night, for use outdoors, or poolside drinking I recommend ones that look like these. I like the comfortable thumb-placing area. Very ergonomic.
To be a stickler and a little snobby:
The wine will warm up more quickly when you use this because of the temperature of your hands. If you don’t want to drink the wine at a warmer temp you will have to drink it faster or pour less and refill when finished. This is also why wine people will often recommend glasses with a stem over stemless.
Also stems reduce fingerprints on the bowl of the glass. The aromas of the wine in this cup may not be as pronounced as in a stemmed glass with a shape more catered to deep whiffing.
The things I just stated I realize most people don’t care about! but want to inform people of why the snobbery exists.
I have a couple of each of these glasses at home when I open something special, but it is a rare occasion because I don’t want to wash them and am nervous to drop them.
I am not going to mention Riedel because the owner blocked me on Instagram not sure why. Maybe it’s because I made fun of one of their posts or over-the-top decanters. lol
Wine Key [Opener]:
Shitty Wine Memes Wine Key link
This wine key is by Coutale and it is lightweight, strong, and my go-to option. This is why I am proud to brand it with the words shitty wine memes. I happily give these to my friends knowing they will last long and know they will be a wine lover favorite. The knife is decent too and when cutting foils (I HATE FOIL) it works great.
Looking for something a bit cheaper?
Pulltaps are great and a go-to for many in the industry.
In my opinion, Code 38 is overpriced, but if you want to risk losing a wine key that expensive go for it.
Wine keys are stolen as often as lighters.
Pyrex Erlenmeyer Flasks
Not only are these strong, functional, and easy to pour - they make you feel like a smart scientist.
Sparkling Wine Stopper:
A simple device that I am surprised more people don’t use.
I’ve seen videos of people using spoons
(there’s no way this does anything)
A tampon?! wtf
All you really need is these and I currently have them on sale
2 for $10
Some prefer these. They are easier to use, but there is more of a risk of it popping off from the pressure and killing someone.
If you don’t want to invest in a wine fridge just put the wine in a cool dark place on its side. Like the back of a closet or basement. Just keep it away from the enemies of wine - heat, light, and vibrations. So not on top or near your vibrating refrigerator or a window with light coming in.
Remember 90% + wines are meant to be drunk within 1-5 years of purchase so most likely none of this matters unless you have something special you want to hold on to.
Wine charms. I don’t care if people think they are lame or cringe. I love them, and they do serve a purpose at gatherings. Also, f*ck wine markers just use a Sharpie on a glass IYKYK.
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Thank you for reading :)
What are your thoughts or go-to gadgets?