With a now 4-ish-month-old about, I’m doing a lot less of some things (sleeping, writing blog posts), and a LOT more of others, including diaper changes and rummaging through the sample pool of wine-related products that get sent to me.
So in an attempt to rectify some of the former and share some of the latter, I present to you my test results from a handful of the wine gadgets that have made their way to my door over the last few months!
One word jumps out when you open up this puppy: fancyyyyyyy. You definitely do not need the Zencore D119 wine decanter, but you might covet the Zencore D119 just by glancing at the packaging. From a design perspective, this thing has definite “WOW” factor that will make your friends jealous when it starts whirring and lighting up in various ways as it works its… whatever it is that it’s doing in terms of (micro-oxygenating, I’m guessing) the wine. It charges via USB and thus is portable. As for speeding up the decanting process of adult beverages, I found that I had to significantly increase the times recommended for the unit to have any perceivable impact on the wine inside of it. It’s also a bit small, so it’s not a substitute for a traditional whole-bottle decanter. But for the wine lover who has everything, this is an eye-opener of a gift.
This wine opener looks like a weapon. Or an emergency Epinephrine syringe. The idea is that you stick the needle through a cork, press the button, and it injects an inert gas that “pops” the cork out, thus opening your bottle of wine. I found decidedly mixed results with the Cork Pops—I couldn’t get this thing to work on composite corks, for example. And it scares me a little. Maybe too much. It’s also tough to guess when the pop! is actually going tot take place, so if you scare easily you might want to skip this thing (or invest in more undies)…
Gotta admit, this thing won me over. It’s geared towards the outdoor type, and if you’re the type of person who has brought chilled wine on hikes, on the paddle-board, or while canoeing (guilty), then you might want to check out this well-designed cooler. It’s sized large enough to get a full bottle of wine in there with some room left over for water and nibbles, it’s easy to secure and to carry, and they claim that it floats (I’ve not tested that yet, since its Winter here at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunity when hitting the lake this Summer and certainly accidentally dropping this cooler several times).
Daaaaammmmnnnnnn… This set of stemware is drop-dead gorgeous, feels light and balanced yet also sturdy, and has a wicked-cool design that really shines on the #4 (Champagne) set. Designed by Kurt Josef Zalto and handmade in Europe, about the only cavils I have with these glasses are that a) the red wine glass is kind of huge, and b) they seem to amplify everything about a wine, so they won’t make pedestrian wines seem better (and might actually enhance any minor flaws). Consider these precision instruments, and elegant ones at that—not everyday drinking fare unless you own your own personal island, but killer stuff to bust out on special occasions.