Wine Accessories and Gifts
What kind of wine accessories are good to have and good to give?
There is limitless number types of wine accessories available today, but we have whittled down the list down for you (and then we added some other stuff too, because we love talking about wine stuff):
The Wine Glass
It is hard to drink without a glass, (though not impossible, a good mug of wine reminds us of our times at uni). A good glass has the potential to bring out the very best in the wine. There are glass shapes crafted specifically for certain wines, and using them for their intended purpose can make sense.
Different glasses for different wines?
Consider a full-bodied, dark red wine with a lot of tannins, say a Zweigelt Reserve 2013 from Erich Sattler. This wine needs to breathe after opening, and a Bordeaux glass has a big belly that provides that. This makes the wine smoother and rounds off the rough texture that tannins often bring.
A wine with a high alcohol content, 13,5% and up, but on the fruity side can benefit from a Burgundy glass. It has a large but shorter belly for swirling. Sommer’s Leithaberg DAC Blaufränkisch 2012 opens up beautifully in a Burgundy glass.
But really guys, a wine really just needs a glass. And a standard red wine glass will cover any red wine’s needs. Easy to find, comes in a variety of qualities and price levels.
The same rule applies to white wines. Sure, a Riesling glass has an interesting shape, with a narrow body and sometimes a lip at the top. This lets the aromas of a fine Riesling like Thiery-Weber’s Kremstal DAC Reserve Riesling 2015 develop and flow into the nose. But a standard white wine glass is just as good, and does what it’s supposed to.
In general we recommend 6-8 standard red wine glasses and 6-8 standard white wine glasses. Most companies sell glasses in sets of six, but if you can buy eight so you are covered for a large party and breakage.
And if you feel that having separate glasses for red and white wines is too much, then we totally recommend getting the universal glass. It’s the one used by sommeliers, we use them for the WSET training, and again, it comes in pricey as well as affordable versions.
Does the quality of the glass influence the wine?
As far as the quality of the glasses you buy, the most important question is how you plan on washing them. Popping them in the dishwasher (like we do)? Know that this will wear them down over the course of time. It means more affordable and easy to replace. Planning on taking gentle care? Definitely invest in crystalware, it will be with you for years, plus handling wine in crystal is a particular kind of luxury.
Riedel Bordeaux glass
Zalto Burgundy glass
Do wines need to breathe?
Many wines benefit from some breathing time, and you can easily open a bottle and let it sit for a half hour or more.
But you might also want to consider getting help from wine accessories, because
- the larger surface area of wine provided by a decanter will get you even more exposure to oxygen, thus softening and opening up the aromas for both palate and nose. Or maybe
- an aerator will often do the trick. It also exposes the wine to more oxygen by circulating air, but it happens en route from bottle to glass.
Ullo Decanter and Purifier
So you have enjoyed a glass of wine with friends, but there is still some left in the bottle! It would be a shame to throw it away, and a wine stopper will ensure that the wine stays in the bottle. There are all types, simple, beautiful, functional and funny. And one of our favourite discoveries has been the Champagne Preservation Recorker, which will also keep your prosecco or champagne fizzy for far longer, so you can enjoy mimosas all weekend long.
So there you have it. You can spend loads or little, but with a few key items, you can make the most of every bottle.
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