There was a time not too long ago in which all one needed to be a dedicated oenophile were a bottle of decent wine, a couple of glasses and slightly more knowledge of the vino than the person with whom you were sharing it.
Technology has changed much of this – though not the pretension, of course. Today, numerous gadgets enable true wine aficionados to maximize their appreciation.
Wine saver systems were the first major advent for home drinkers since advanced corkscrews. These systems, which range in cost and quality, enable users to remove excess air from an open bottle of wine and thus keep it fresh and in top quality to drink for a week to 10 days, generally. The result: One doesn’t need to finish a bottle of wine on one occasion and then surrender the remainder for cooking.
Wine aerators might be the niftiest newcomer. These systems, which again, vary considerably in price and effectiveness, enable drinkers to let their wine breathe without having to decant. Aerators work in about the time it takes to pour a glass of wine, so for serious wine-lovers, particularly red wine lovers, it’s one of the more handy tools.
Wine finers are systems – simple or elaborate – that filter out any cork, tartar or sediment as one pours a glass. Some, such as the Nuance Wine Finer, also decants red wine and can act as a cork to boot.
Other wine related advances such as wine chillers, thermometers, foil cutters and high-end openers have their place but don’t necessarily increase the quality of the drinking experience. Still, for those who recall the day when pretense was a big part of the oenophile fun, why not? That pesky foil around the top of a champagne bottle can be so challenging.