Shopping for a wine lover doesn’t have to be challenging — simply buy them something to enhance their drinking experience. There are several wine accessories on the market tailored for just that.
7 wine accessories to buy:
There’s no better way to ruin the excitement of enjoying an older vintage wine than by having pieces of crumbled cork swirling around the glass. Luckily, there’s a way to avoid aging, brittle corks from breaking down and falling into wine: open the bottle with an ah-so, a flat, two-prong tool designed for extracting mature corks from old bottles. “I’m not much of a wine accessory person, but I do love a good ah-so for mature corks. Plus, they are TSA approved,” says Vanessa Conlin, chief wine officer at Wine Access in New York City. Bonus: Ah-so can be used to open all types of bottles, including young wines, beer bottles, sodas, and other bottled beverages.
Imagine hearing the sweet melody of chirping birds every time a glass of wine is poured. Does that sound lovely or downright annoying? Kevin Day, the wine educator behind Opening a Bottle in Denver, likes the whistle his chirping bottle top makes when he pours a glass of wine. “My kids gave me a ChirpyTop one year which chirps when the wine pours through it. It cracks us up all the time. I recommend it,” says Day. The stainless steel and silicone device comes in various colors, and its drip-free design ensures there are no wine splatters.
There’s no such thing as too much glassware, but the glasses in Riedel’s Sommeliers series may make it hard for a drinker to pick up anything else. Ninth-generation glassware maker Claus J. Riedel shook the wine industry in 1973 when he unveiled the handmade glasses within this line. They were the first glasses on the market in which the design shape was tailored specifically to individual wine styles. Nearly four decades later, these versatile, lightweight glasses are still the go-to for wine professionals and drinkers alike. “The Riedel Sommeliers series truly is the best at accentuating wine flavor. They’re certainly on my Christmas list this year,” says Dr. Hoby Wedler, a Sonoma-based entrepreneur and wine sensory coach who developed the Tasting in the Dark wine experience.
This device is similar to an ah-so, but with more functions. The Durand has the standard two flat prongs that will remove old and fragile corks, but it also has the old-fashioned screw that pierces through the center of the cork while the side prongs separate the cork from the glass. This corkscrew, made with steel, provides just an “extra bit of caution” when “opening expensive, old bottles of wine,” says Hai Tran, a sommelier and Sommation contributor in Raleigh, North Carolina. “This is a wine accessory that is always high on my list of must-haves,” Tran adds.
This is not your average waiter’s friend corkscrew. This is a solid, smooth, and shiny stainless steel tool engineered to extract a cork from a bottle of wine effortlessly. Code38’s wine key has a knife-grade blade that can slice through any bottle foil with absolute ease. “I keep threatening to buy it for myself,” says Jamie Rubin, a sommelier and owner of Kidstuff Hospitality in Philadelphia. Although this particular corkscrew was designed with restaurant workers in mind, Rubin notes that the wine key’s single-hinge design is so easy to use that even the most amateur wine bottle-openers may find it helpful.
Never worry about wasting sparkling wine again. With Coravin’s new Sparkling Wine Preservation System, bubbly drinkers can sip their sparkling wine and Champagne both now and later. The device keeps sparkling wines crisp and fresh for up to four weeks. “We drink a lot of sparkling wine throughout the holiday season, so a Coravin Sparkling is at the top of my list. It’s a fantastic preservation system to keep unfinished bottles fresh and effervescent, which is great when you’re entertaining for multiple days,” says Alexandra Schrecengost, the New Jersey-based CEO and founder of Virtual With Us. For those who want to keep their still wines fresh, Coravin’s Pivot+ Wine Preservation System, priced at $130, not only preserves opened wine bottles for up to four weeks, but its aerator attachment allows drinkers to aerate wine in seconds to promote freshness.
Who wouldn’t want to drink wine out of a crystal decanter made in the shape of a beautiful swan? This is a gift for the wine drinker who appreciates quality glass and understands that wine and everything it entails can be a great conversation starter. “I’d love a new crystal decanter in the shape of a duck or some other fun animal. Wine doesn’t always need to be serious business, and I fully welcome the whimsical,” says Ella Raymont, a sommelier and wine director at Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection in Santa Fe, New Mexico. If spending top dollar isn’t an option, Wine Enthusiast’s Art Series Treble Decanter has a fun curlicue design for a fraction of the price.