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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Wine Accessories: are they worth it?

I'm always a bit dubious about gadgets, especially wine ones. But recently, I put a whole load of wine chillers to the test for a piece in the Daily Mail and was left wondering how on earth I had managed thus far without a Corkcicle in my life. Seriously, this funny little pointy gadget kept a chilled bottle of white constantly cool for the whole hour *cough* it took us to finish it. No need to put it back in the fridge. Instead, I could sit down, scoff crisps, natter and not miss a thing. Genius. Anyway, a friend of mine called Daniel runs a wine shop selling all kinds of wine accessories and I asked him to share his knowledge on the stuff that he thinks really works. And because he's nice like that, he's even thrown in a Corkcicle as a prize. All you have to do is leave a comment, your name goes into a hat and someone* will pick one out at the end of the month.

Here what Daniel says:

The finest wine glasses in the world are mouth blown in Austria, by a company called Zalto.  These featherweight yet very strong glasses at £30 each, deliver flavour better than any other brand and are our most popular range.  They are the buzzword in glassware amongst wine journalists and enthusiasts alike.  Once used, any other glass will feel clumsy.

There is nothing like opening a bottle with one of the world’s finest, handmade corkscrews.  The best come from the Chateau Laguiole region near Thiers in the south of France. Priced at £100 they have to be held to be fully appreciated.  

Decanting not only leaves sediment in the bottle, it encourages oxygen to let the flavours of the wine develop, much in the same way that perfume changes over time on contact with air and warm skin.  The best funnel on the market is the Screwpull steel filtering funnel that stops any sediment getting into the wine (£30).

Serving wine at the right temperature is key and the Corkcicle (£20) can be used to keep cold white cold or inserted into warm red wine it will put the freshness back. Available in various colours.

www.aroundwine.co.uk or visit the shop at 57 Chiltern Street, London, W1U 6ND

*My Mother (and her decision is final). Other T&Cs:
1.  Competition closes on 25th August 2013 at 11.59pm
2. The prize draw is open to any UK resident over the age of 18.

Please note this is not a sponsored post. I just thought it was really useful information. And Daniel's a very nice man dude.

27 comments:

  1. I love the idea of all or any of these :)

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  2. I think ive had too much wine-cannot for the life of me workout how the corkickle works. Cant even spell it. Amazeballs.

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  3. Wine gadgets are for the most part unnecessary, but those Zalto glasses sound like a fantastic must-have. (I know, I know I can't win - even though I am over 18).

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  4. Come on Helen's mummy, pick me please :)

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  5. I need a Corkcicle in my life!!
    DW :)

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  6. If one is going to accessorize, what better thing to do it with than wine?

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  7. As a student I often feel like a wine glass is a wine accessory in itself - can shamefully admit to drinking wine from mugs on rather too many occasions! The corkcicle seems like a perfect addition to my life, could continue being too lazy to walk the wine back to the fridge without having to endure a warm drink!

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  8. I am enjoying your column in the DM btw. I proudly tell all my friends I know you! Love the sound of all these. Am more of a red wine girl so thought one of these might be wasted on me, until I remembered the bottle that my friend brought up from Winchester to Brighton recently in the boot of the car on a sunny day and I had to stick it in the fridge before we could open it. (I know. Sacrilege. But had to be done!.

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    Replies
    1. I put most reds in the fridge for a short burst before serving to put the freshness back. Nothing worse than warm red wine. Except football. (from Daniel, who wrote the bit at the top)

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  9. If I were to buy my other half a handmade corkscrew for £100 ( 116 euros ) for his birthday.......Would it be acceptable to leave the price-tag on? or would he know instantly I'd paid a fortune for a fantastic piece of craftsmanship?

    .......he's just looked over my shoulder and said "I'd like to think the latter."

    Maybe I'll test him out!

    I hasten to add we have just been camping for a week, drinking wine out of Ikea plastic cups ( £1 for 6 )

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  10. Oh, please pick me! I am 8 months preggo and I literally cannot wait for a big, cold glass of something white and delicious once this baby is out of me!

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  11. Corkcicle, Corkcicle where would I be?
    without you in my life, whilst my kids eat their tea!

    My bottle of white (although fairly alright),
    tastes better, stays cooler, and lasts well for the night.

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  12. Actually I don't have one - but would very much like too!!!!

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  13. Thanks for the insight, the corkcicle looks like a genius piece of kit. And the glasses look special too, but I'm not sure I could bring myself to invest unless they were hubby-butterfingers-proof!
    Thanks also for the interesting blog.
    Debs

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  14. Not convinced by expensive bottle openers, think I'd rather spend my money on better wine! My decanter was 50p from a charity shop and is awesome.
    Good glasses though definitely make a difference, but are they worth £25 more than my Tesco Finest ones? :)

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  15. Me please - what a clever idea

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  16. Yes please! I have added it to my Xmas wish list but not sure I can wait that long!

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  17. Every year I get given Christmas presents I really neither need nor want. I then need to make sure they don't go back to the person that gave it to me..... At last, wine gadgets I would like to keep! (Though this may get trumped by the pregnant lady - her need will be greater than mine!)

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  18. I love, love, love that you have "tired and tested" wine recommendations - so often am I feeling tired and tested, and so glad to know at last that you have the specific remedy!
    Would also appreciate your guidance for when I'm feeling "at wit's end", "down but not out", and maybe even "happy as Larry".

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  19. Great ideas. Although I think I might keep the bit about the £30 wine glasses from my husband or I can see where next week's shopping budget will go...;)

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  20. What a fabulous idea. I run my own business doing wine tasting parties at people's homes and this would be a great way to keep the wine at the right temp, visited Daniels site before and love the products x

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  21. Love the sound of the Corkcicle! Great Christmas present idea :-)

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  22. Just seen this in By the Bottle online magazine and Daniels shop is mentioned too. Do I have a higher chance of winning because I have commented twice lol?

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  23. I would love a corkcicle so if your mother does not pick me I shall have to ask my daughter to buy me one for my birthday.

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  24. Clearly I've missed the competition but had to comment - because seriously, there are glasses that are better that Riedel ones? I thought they were the canine's undercarriage.

    Our glasses are John Lewis, obviously, but a girl can dream...

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  25. It's not necessary to be a vintage wine collector, sommelier, or vintner to appreciate a perfect glass of wine. However, all of these experts know that the process of decanting and aeration can peak the aroma and taste of a wine that is aged or of newer vintage. There are tremendous differences for selecting aeration over decanting, and here are the top 3 reasons to use a Wine Weaver wine aerator.

    decantus wine aerator

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