Here, Ray Isle's best tips for keeping wine easy, accessible and enjoyable.

Ray Isle
Updated March 31, 2015

  1. Get rid of the annoying corkscrew with the wing-like arms and wobbly screw that's been taking up space in your kitchen drawer for the past 10 years.

Then buy one that works. One good choice: Sur La Table's Waiter's Corkscrew. $10;

  • Buy wine sealed with a screw cap.
  • New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a top option, like the grapefruit-scented 2009 Nautilus Estate ($17).

  • Don't worry too much about good or bad vintages.
  • Instead, invest your energy in knowing producers who make excellent wines year in and year out.

  • Find an affordable wine you like, buy it by the case, and make it your house wine.
  • You'll save money (many wine shops offer 5 to 10 percent off case purchases), and you'll always have a good bottle on hand.

  • For meals at fancy restaurants, look at the wine list online beforehand.
  • That way, your dinner companions won't spend 15 minutes twiddling their thumbs while you figure out which bottle to order.

  • Gift strategy:
  • For last-minute gifts, keep a basic brut Champagne like Pol Roger's in the fridge. If it's there more than a month, drink it and buy another.

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