Here, Ray Isle's best tips for keeping wine easy, accessible and enjoyable.
- 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; surlatable.com.
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a top option, like the grapefruit-scented 2009 Nautilus Estate ($17).
Instead, invest your energy in knowing producers who make excellent wines year in and year out.
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.
That way, your dinner companions won't spend 15 minutes twiddling their thumbs while you figure out which bottle to order.
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.