Wine is a big business. The global market for this alcoholic beverage is more than $300 billion. And as bottles of wine have expanded beyond fancy restaurants to reach a much broader market, so have wine accessories. As consumers become more knowledgeable about the industry, their craving for wine has given way to a desire for wine accessories.
It’s not enough anymore to uncork your favorite red blend and pour it in the nearest available cup. To truly appreciate the complexity and sometimes hidden pleasures of wine, you have to consider accessories that will elevate your experience to the next level. You may think that there aren’t very many accessories beyond wine carriers and totes, but you would be wrong. There’s so much more.
Here are 15 wine accessories that are complete game changers.
1. Aerator, Pourer & Stopper
An aerator, pourer & stopper accessory is a single, very practical device with three functionalities. The pourer employs a system of ventilation chambers that allows optimal aeration of the wine. This facilitates the expression of the wine in the nose and mouth. To these two functions, a stopper for the bottle is added. Therefore, aside from aerating and serving the wine without dripping, this accessory plugs the bottle for conservation.
Pouring a bottle of wine into a decanter for serving is an excellent way to mellow the tannins and balance complex aromas for a richer drinking experience. For older wines, decanting helps to separate the wine from any loose sediment. This will make the wine look nicer and cleaner in your glass, but also keep those bits of sediment out of your mouth. Look for decanters that are made from lead-free materials.
3. High-Capacity Cooler
Ideal for wine lovers who want dozens of bottles kept at the perfect temperature, high-capacity coolers are equipped with computerized adjustable temperature controls. Top models feature two independent temperature zones: from 5º to 10º C and from 10º to 18º C. The temperature you want depends on your specific wines.
4. Bar Cooler
If you want a smaller refrigeration system for your home bar, the ideal bar cooler holds four wine bottles. These smaller coolers are functional, lightweight, portable, and easy to use. Most come with push-button controls for temperature and a digital thermostat. Better models feature thermoelectric technology that keeps the cooler from vibrating.
5. Ice Bucket
Some wines need to remain chilled on the table. Look for ice buckets made of stainless steel that contain some chromium and nickel, which is of higher quality than usual stainless steel.
6. Anti-Drip Cloth
Designed with a hole to enter the neck of the bottle, anti-drip cloths help prevent dripping. Be sure to buy one made of 100% cotton, so that you can ensure its quality and know that it’s safe and easy to wash.
An essential tool in wine tastings is the escupidera, better known as a spittoon. It is designed to collect and store the tested wine in a hygienic way.
8. Wine Set
Wine sets are actually several accessories kept in a wooden case. They typically include corkscrews of varying quality, stoppers, pourers, and thermometers. Depending on the set, there may be fewer of these items or more.
9. Tasting Notes
Tasting notes are written descriptions of an expert’s experience of a particular wine. These can often be found on the Internet. While every experience with wine is quite personal, tasting notes can help you identify characteristics such as aroma, taste, acidity, balance, structure, and texture.
10. Water and Colines
The presence of water and colines or bread (neutral foods) can elevate the wine-tasting experience. Keep clean, filtered or premium water on hand. Also, foods like breadsticks will help to eliminate compounds in wine, especially in the case of the reds, which react in the taste buds after the tasting.
11. World Atlas of Wine
One of the essential books for any wine enthusiast is the World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. Considered an essential reference work, it is one of the most valued wine books, with splendid cartography updated in detail with revised maps.
12. Short Apron
If you’re playing host, consider purchasing a short apron. These aprons have large pockets for utensils, and they help keep you clean. And unlike full-length cooking aprons, they look rather stylish and classy.
There are many different kinds of systems that help conserve wine if you don’t drink the whole bottle in one day. The simplest is a preserver in which you spray of a dose of gas like argon and then reinsert the cork or use a stopper. This means you can even enjoy your wine days later.
14. Foil Cutter
Stop struggling with the foil that’s wrapped around the top of wine bottles. All you have to do is swipe a foil cutter all the way around the bottle’s neck for simple and clean removal of the foil. That way, you can get to your wine much faster.
15. Carrier or Tote
Carriers and totes are not only an accessory but also a fashion statement. When you’re heading outdoors, you can find carriers and totes of varying sizes and styles. So it won’t be difficult to find one that’s perfect for traveling through wine country, picnicking in the park, and more.
The Bottom Line
Wine lovers know that wine is not just a drink. It’s an experience. Accessories like the ones listed here help expand that experience and make it more pleasurable.
It’s also likely that wine accessories will become more sophisticated in the future, and new products will be introduced. Why? Well, as mentioned previously, the global wine industry is currently staggering in terms of sales, and it’s only getting bigger. Experts say that the industry will reach $423.59 billion by 2023.
More wine means more accessories. Even now, this list barely scratches the surface of what’s available, especially if you’re a lover of wine. But these essentials are the perfect place to start.