6 Wine Toys You Don't Need
You're unlikely to need any wine device not pictured.There's no dearth of wine-related gadgetry, and some of it costs more than really great wine. To enjoy wine, however, all you usually need is a bottle you like, some good glassware and often a corkscrew. That in mind, here are six tempting wine accessories that you, or the wine lover you're shopping for, can probably do without:
1. Aerators. These products do the same job as a decanter, or a pitcher, or any container you could transfer your wine into before pouring—but they claim to do it faster, which might not be a good thing. Great wines often evolve in the glass, and aerating them all at once would mean fast-forwarding through that process. (In the case of older bottles, you could skip straight past the point when the wine is actually good.)
2. Bottle Chillers. It's impressive that these machines, which retail for $70 and more, will cool a bottle of wine from room-temp to fridge-temp in six minutes. But a bucket of ice water doesn't take much longer, and most wines shouldn't be served quite that cold anyway.
3. De-Aerators. All pumps and gas spritzers try to accomplish one thing: getting air away from your leftover wine—which will, indeed, slow its deterioration. Instead of messing with these devices, just pour the wine into a smaller bottle.
4. Elaborate Corkscrews. Most wine pros will tell you that they prefer a simple, standard waiter's corkscrew. A double-hinged model makes it easy to get good leverage.
5. Foil Cutters. These cutters trim the foil much too high, where it can interfere with pouring. Instead, use a blade below the bottle's rim. Or, believe it or not, you can remove most capsules by simply pulling them off.
6. Wine-Box Cozies. As amusing as it may be to hide certain bottom-shelf supermarket wines under a leopard-print cover, some of today's increasingly tasty boxed wines are arriving in handsome packages, like Wineberry's wooden crate. Try the importer's 2010 Domaine le Garrigon Côtes-du-Rhône.