Tools of the trade – The must haves for every wine lover
by Maximillian Wee on Jun 20, 2022
Welcome to your Vino journey! We’re here to be your guide as we explore the vast world of wines together. By obtaining a deeper understanding on the process of wine production and evaluation, you will develop a deeper appreciation for the craft, and you’ll be able to flex this knowledge amongst your peers, coming off as a true wine connoisseur.
To majority of the masses, it is simply a liquid that comes in red or white. For the select few of us, wine is a way of life, meant for sipping and savouring with an endless combination of flavours that make for a complex sensory experience. If you identify with the latter, here are some must-have wine accessories that you should seriously consider adding to your collection.
Cork pull, corkscrew, wine opener, wine key; you name it, they have it. There are many variations of tools that help you to get that stubborn cork out of the bottle. Our weapon of choice, the wine key, is every wine lover’s pocket-knife. We always recommend wine keys, commonly known as a waiter’s friend, as they are real handy to carry around. They include a small serrated knife to cut the foil around the top of the wine bottle and a boot lever for maximum leverage to pull the cork out.
The Coravin is a tool for wine professionals, but if you are a geek like us, nothing’s standing in your way of investing in one. By passing a thin needle through the cork without damaging or destroying the seal that protects the wine, it introduces inert argon gas to prevent oxygen from entering the bottle, allowing it to dispense wine without opening the bottle.
Once the needle is removed, the cork should naturally heal itself as it is a natural material. As such, you may store the bottle for a month or so, but it will not keep for years because the cork has already been punctured which would’ve allowed a small amount of air to enter.
Vacuum pumps are exceptionally useful and an affordable way for keeping your wine fresh after they have been opened. These are relatively inexpensive, and you may get multiple stoppers so that you may enjoy more than one bottle over a few sittings. They do not incur disposable costs unlike the Coravin which requires argon gas canisters to operate.
Vacuum sealing removes air from the bottle, slowing down the rate of oxidation affecting your wines. Although it is not a full proof method as the wine has already been exposed to the atmosphere, it does allow you to keep them relatively fresh for up to a week. Although we do recommend storing your wine in the fridge as an added measure as the cold temperatures slows down the rate of oxidation as well!
Glassware comes in many shapes and sizes, finding the right glass for your own drinking style will have a huge impact on your tasting experience. Did you know? There are even stemless wine glasses out there designed for a more casual drinking dynamic. Traditionalists may consider as blasphemy as directly touching the vessel will warm up the wine with your body heat, changing its flavour profile; to each his own!
Luxury wine glasses may go for over $100 these days, but if you are just starting out, we would suggest getting one that is bang for your buck. For the pragmatics, we would recommend picking up a quality universal glass. These are shaped to work relatively well with most wines, so if you were looking to own only one glass at home, this would be it.
Some wines require more exposure to oxygen before consumption. The main element in preservation of wine is carbon dioxide, integrated during the first fermentation. Decanting the wine and exposing it to oxygen burns off the carbon dioxide, opening up aromas and revealing more complexity.
Mature vintages are typically decanted to rid of the sediments that have accumulated at the base of the bottle. In fact, exceptionally aged wines are often the worst to decant because time may have already weakened their aromatics to the point where it is crucial to preserve.
Contrary to popular belief, decanting is not just for old or rate wines. Young wines benefit from decanting as the aeration speeds up the ageing process, effectively maturing the wine allowing the bouquet to develop faster.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that bolder wines with more drying tannins and alcohol should be decanted with a larger surface area exposed to air. Also, it is recommended to use a glass decanter or any other inert material that will not impose any foreign flavours or smell on the wine.
Get out there and explore!
This list is non-exhaustive and there are many gadgets available in the market that would enhance your wine experience. As you move forward in your appreciation of wines, these tools would be a sensible investment as you steer towards better quality, and more expensive vintages. Especially when you are looking to open a special bottle that you’ve been saving, it is worth taking the time to ensure that it is shown to advantage and served in the best possible condition.
Discover and explore the interesting world of wine at www.sgwinemart.com