Do you need a bunch of gadgets and gizmos to truly appreciate wine? Honestly, we don’t think so. There are wine tools for beginners out there that can enhance your experience, but it can seem overwhelming. It’s totally normal to ask yourself, “What do I really need?" We believe in keeping things simple. If you’ve got a bottle of wine, something to open it, and something to pour it into, you’re pretty much good to go.
However, there are some tools that can make your life a little easier, or improve the taste of your wine. For those reasons, we think there are some tools that are worth investing in if you’re looking to up your wine game.
Take a look at the top 10 wine tools all beginners need.
1. A Corkscrew
Unless you only get screw top bottles, you’re going to need something to pop the cork. Which kind should you get? We believe it’s a matter of personal preference. You may find that a winged corkscrew or a “waiter’s friend” style corkscrew works best for you.
If you’re in a bind and forgot to get one, remember that you can always open a bottle of wine with a regular old house key.
2. Some Wine Glasses
There’s no need to get a million types of glasses, but it’s a good idea to have some extra glasses on hand for when you have company (or when you get really sick of doing the dishes). Stemmed or stemless, it’s all good. You can look into wine glasses that are made specifically for your favorite kind of wine, or opt instead for some universal glasses that are made for just about any kind of wine you might like to drink.
3. A Polishing Cloth
Speaking of glasses, it’s important to take good care of your stemware so it stays shiny and smudge-free. One way of doing that is by hand-drying your glasses with a lint-free polishing cloth. No need to spend a fortune on these – you can opt for some simple flour sack towels, or splurge on a microfiber cloth.
Getting the Most Out of Your Wine
4. Wine Rack
Before you open the bottle, it’s best to store it sideways so the cork doesn’t dry out. A wine rack is a handy tool for extending the life of your wine and making the most of your storage space. You can buy one online or, if you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own.
Decanting wine is not just for Victorian households with butlers – you should be decanting your wine, particularly if you like red wine. Why? After being stored for a while, wine – especially cheaper wine – can give off some funky odors when you first pour it out. Decanting aerates wine, which gets rid of those weird smells and brings out the aromas that the winemaker intended.
If you want to get really fancy, you can opt for an aerator to speed up the process. However, for wine newbies, a simple decanter will do just fine.
6. Bottle Stoppers
While you want to introduce some oxygen to your wine before you drink it, after you're done drinking for the night, you want to cut off oxygen to any leftover wine as soon as possible. If you’re a whiz with a corkscrew and can reuse your fully intact cork, go for it. If you run into a cork mishap, however, a bottle stopper or two can definitely come in handy.
Keeping Things Chill
7. Stainless Steel Tub
When it comes to chilling your wine – particularly in the warmer months – a bucket or tub of some kind can help. A stainless steel tub will stay cold longer, plus they tend to look super chic.
8. Gel-Filled Wine Sleeves
Similar to a gel-filled mask you might use on your face, these freezable sleeves keep your bottles cooler for longer.
Living Your Best Life: Shower Wine Widgets
If you like to enjoy a glass of vino while lounging in the bath, read on.
9. Plastic Wine Glasses
For safety’s sake, don’t try to hold anything glass with wet hands. Obviously. Plastic wine glasses are a great alternative.
10. A Suction Cup Holder
Stick this bad boy on your shower wall, and you won’t have to hold your glass the whole time. Convenient? Of course. Plus, your wine will taste better when you don’t raise the temperature with the heat from your hand.