10 Wine Accessories Every Wine Lover Needs
There is no doubting that the market is flooded with wine gadgets. Openers, glasses, decanters, racks, cabinets, stoppers, pumps, and almost endless bits and bobs all promising to make you the coolest wine connoisseur.
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So, what wine accessories do you really need to enjoy a good glass of wine? Here are our top 10 tips to help you store and pour your favourite drops.
Let’s start with the obvious – good glassware is a must for enjoying wine. There’s a vast range of glassware on the market, and it can be confusing to know which styles and shapes are the best to use for the wines you like to drink. To help you with this, read our 'Guide to Wine Glasses' which details how to choose the best glasses for the styles of wine you're drinking!
Generally, for white wines, a small to medium-sized bowl is ideal. Aromatic whites like Riesling are enhanced by more of a tulip shape, whereas a larger glass is better with richer varieties like Chardonnay. A larger bowl is most often preferred for reds with plenty of surface area to encourage the aromas to lift from the glass. The classic flute is best for Sparkling wines for both the aroma and preservation of bubbles.
“Here at Wine Selectors, we are proud to partner with Schott Zwiesel – they’re the glass of choice for our expert Tasting Panel,” explains Adam Walls, Tasting Panel Co-Chair, Wine Show Judge and 2019 Dux Len Evans Tutorial.
“The right glass is imperative when tasting wines – you must be able to see the true colour, assess the weight and smell the aromatics,” he says. “The Schott Zwiesel range really is a cut above the rest and makes our job an absolute pleasure.”
No matter what type of wine you’re enjoying with the beautiful ranges of Schott Zwiesel wine glassware, there is a glass to suit every style and every occasion.
Wine Opener/Waiters' Friend
While most Australian wines have been released under screwcap since the early 2000s, it’s still worthwhile having a good quality wine opener or a reliable waiters’ friend on hand for older wines that maybe under cork.
When you’re wanting to store your wines, oxygen is your greatest enemy. But when you’re pouring yourself a beautiful red to drink now, it – and a trusty decanter – becomes your best friend!
The prime benefit of decanting is that it lets your wine and oxygen combine. Wine feeds on oxygen when it’s released, giving it the best chance to open up and allowing the fruit to prosper, the structure to soften, and the wine to be at its best for tasting.
In the old days, a wine that had a cork and was deemed worthy, or was of good providence, was meant to be decanted, to separate it from its sediment. The advent of the screwcap has changed all this. As screw-capped wines arrive tighter and more fine-boned than their predecessors under cork, a bit of air can help release primary fruit and aid texture.
In terms of time, newer wines can be left in the decanter and you’ll notice they open up over the course of a few hours. Older wines, however, do not need more than an hour as they will start to fall away in the decanter and fruit can become stripped quite quickly.
Decanting will even improve less expensive wines, often helping get rid of the unpleasant odour of sulphur dioxide – you may even fool your friends into thinking you’ve forked out for a top drop!
Bring out the best of your wines with the Schott Zwiesel Classico decanter and learn all of the tips and tricks of decanting with Tasting Panellist Dave Mavor.
Wine Stopper, Wine Sealer
If you happen to be in the situation where the entire bottle of wine hasn’t been consumed and it’s not a screw cap (or you’ve misplaced the screw cap), there are stoppers to do the job, especially when it comes to Sparkling or Champagne. You can use simple stoppers, or upgrade to vacuum pump style stoppers that are designed to keep your wine as fresh and tasty as the moment you opened it!
Wine Pourer, Wine Spout
No one likes to be that person who drips red wine on the best white linen table cloth. Make enjoying your wine a little less messy by inserting a wine pourer into the mouth of the bottle. Usually made of plastic or stainless steel, they’re inexpensive, and a handy way to stop the drips.
Another solution is to learn to pour wine like a pro. If you want to go full table service, wrap a napkin around the bottle’s neck, grab the bottle anywhere below its shoulder, and keep the label facing outward to show off the wine you’re pouring. Give the bottle a turn as you’re completing the pour, to prevent any drops from spilling.
A bottle of wine generally contains 750ml, so it’s common to see it portioned out into five servings, (150 ml) per bottle. Fill to the point just below where the curvature of the glass bowl begins to narrow. With every serving consider the space in the glass, as it is designed to funnel aromas, so try your best not to overfill.
While we generally prefer the ritual, elegance and occasion of a wine decanter, there is no question that aerators are one of the fastest ways to achieve a similar result.
The theory works on the vinturi effect, where the velocity of a wine poured through a small gap increases, and as this happens, pressure decreases and air is mixed with the wine as it is poured into the glass. So, aerators are a fast alternative to decanting and if no-one else is sharing your wine, you can pour just a glass through the aerator instead of having to pour the whole bottle into a decanter.
Wine Fridge, Wine Cabinet
It really is important to store wine correctly to ensure you can enjoy your delicious vinous offerings at their best and the most effective way to do that is in a wine fridge or wine cabinet. With a huge range of styles, sizes and price points, there is a wine cabinet to fit every need and budget, and they’re as sleek and fashionable as they are functional. From an under-bench cabinet for your kitchen, a taller capacity unit for home or business, or a walk-in model for a dedicated cellar, there is a wine cabinet that will fit seamlessly into your life.
Here at Wine Selectors, we have a great partnership with Liebherr, so if you’re looking to invest in a wine cabinet, we can highly recommend their products. Take a look at Liebherr's fantastic range here – most cabinets also come with a Wine Selectors Gift Voucher, so you can add to your existing wine collection or start a new one. https://www.wineselectors.com.au/liebherr
Storing wine correctly is essential to keep your investment safe and of the highest quality. Wine racks are of most benefit when installed in a wine cellar or sheltered space for your wines. Ideally, wine bottles should be stored laying down, out of the sunlight, in cool place with a constant temperature (i.e. not extremes of hot and cold) and away from vibrations.
Wine Cooler, Wine Bucket, Champagne Bowl
There are hundreds of wine coolers available, so the choice of style is yours. Made from a range of materials including acrylic, ceramic, and stainless steel, their sole purpose in life is to keep your wine cool. If you are someone who likes to entertain, then a large ice bucket or Champagne bowl, that can fit several bottles, is a great investment.
Okay, so a purpose-built wine cellar is not necessarily essential, but to be honest every wine lover wants one! For more on wine storage and cellaring, head to 'The Do's and Don't on Good Wine Storage' where we explain how temperature, humidity, vibration and light can affect your precious wine!
Keen to keep learning more about the wonderful world of wine? We'll teach you the correct way on 'How to Taste Wine' with our Wine Expert and Tasting Pannelist Adam Walls and 'How to Serve Wine' properly to impress your friends.