Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wine Accessories - The Essential List

Many people believe that after you’ve purchased your various crates of wine, the extent of your wine-related purchasing is done. There are, however, a number of accessories that need to be considered. Some are decorative, and some are practical, but these accessories are all great additions to any wine lover’s home.

The first accessories to consider are the glasses themselves. It might seem obvious, but not every home is outfitted with the proper wine glasses. Three distinct types of glasses should be purchased. The first is more bowl shaped, and this is ideal for your merlots and cabernets. The large, bulbous design allows you to swirl the red and let it adequately breathe before drinking. The other glasses, by comparison, are more tapered at the top. These are best for your chardonnays. The last essential type of glass is long and skinny and sometimes known as the flute. This is designed for all varieties of champagne.

The next accessory isn’t anything expensive or large, but it can actually save you quite a bit of hassle and headache at your next dinner event. When everyone has a separate glass, it can be almost impossible to distinguish which glass belongs to which person. To remedy this problem, there are small charms that fit perfectly onto the stem of any wine glass. In this way, everyone just has to remember which distinctive charm was theirs, and there will be no more inadvertent switching of glasses (and swapping of germs).

Don’t forget that stoppers and evacuators also make handy accessories. Especially if you’re having a small gathering, you are likely to have some wine left over in the bottle that you’d like to save. If that liquid is exposed for too long to too much air, though, the quality of the beverage can be seriously (and negatively) affected. That’s why evacuators and stoppers are an easy and indispensable accessory. Place a special rubber stopper into the top of the bottle, and pump out excess air in that bottle with the reusable evacuator. It only takes a few seconds, but it can go a long way in preserving the quality of your wine over several days.

For anyone that has an extensive wine collection, it becomes quickly evident all those cases upon cases can become unruly and difficult to store. Consider investing in a variety of wine racks in order to bring some order to the chaos. The racks are often an attractive addition to a house, but it’s also a very practical and straightforward way to sort and organize your collection (by year, vineyard, grape type, or any other parameter desired).

The last accessory that can prove helpful to a collector is a high quality bottle opener. Nobody likes struggling with an awkward corkscrew, and using a more advanced bottle opener can save you a lot of time and hassle. Some even come in polished metal with attractive boxes, making them a great gift idea for anyone you know who enjoys wine on a regular basis.

My name is Kevin Preble, and I’m an avid wine enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona. Unlike most other collectors, however, I always buy wine online. I still use the same quality parameters as those who purchase wine through more conventional venues, and I only trust the best wine brokers, but I feel you just can’t beat the convenience and price comparison of shopping virtually.