Every newcomer to wine needs a foundation of wine-related tools to make their journey in oenology more streamlined.
From quality wine glasses to an everyday decanter, a waiter’s corkscrew and a Coravin to assist with multiple tastings, here are eight devices that make the perfect gift for any recipient who’s just begun their training in wine.
Stainless Steel Foil Cutter
First things first: don’t try opening a bottle without first removing the foil. This handy stainless steel foil cutter does just that in one clean slice, using two blades. At two-by-two inches, the circular cutter is nimble enough to tuck into a bar or kitchen drawer, yet fits all bottle sizes. SRP $8, rabbitwine.com
2-Step Waiter’s Corkscrew
The majority of sommeliers will let you in on a secret—don’t waste your money on a fancy opener. In fact, sometimes the fancier an uncorking device is, the less efficient it is. Opening wine is a ritual and for that all you need is a durable waiter’s corkscrew. This one from Rabbit Wine is a classic that every newcomer to wine should have in their collection. $15, rabbitwine.com
GHV All Purpose Glasses
New York-based hand-blown stemware company, Glasvin, splashed onto the wine scene in 2020 with their feather-light portfolio and this year, they launched their everyday collection, GHV Home. Among the cocktail coupes and Collins glasses is The All-Purpose wine glass, designed for the everyday occasion; it’s elevated and refined but at a reasonable price for hand-blown stemware. SRP $48 (2-pack), glas.vin.com
iittala 2 Quart Decanter
Though there’s a time and place for decanting wine, a decanter is as decorative as it is useful; it makes for an aesthetic centerpiece or stunning display next to your wine collection. This particular decanter is mouth-blown in Finland; its silhouette a collaboration from architect Antonio Citterio and industrial designer Toan Nguyen for a sleek, classic and versatile decanter to be functional for a variety of wines, from Cabernet to Champagne. SRP $165, reservebar.com
Coravin Timeless Six+
“Drink what you want without compromise,” is Coravin’s motto. Their wine preservation openers are used in the finest hospitality establishments around the world, and for beginners, this device is especially practical as it allows you to taste a number of wines without pulling the cork and without wasting a drop. The Coravin Timeless Six+ Preservation System is top-of-the-line and emphasizes the company’s mission to “empower wine enthusiasts to embark on their own tasting journeys.” There are two limited edition colors for the holiday season, Mist for the six capsules and Deep Sea Blue for the three capsules. SRP $349, coravin.com
While in the thick of wine studies, future oenophiles will appreciate some help when it comes to serving and entertaining. The smart-tech QelviQ Personal Sommelier pairs with the QelviQ App to assist with serving temperatures all while blending in with the rest of your streamlined kitchen gadgets. Users can snap a photo of a wine label then place the bottle into the system; QelviQ will advise on the ideal serving temperature then activate its Peltier thermodynamic technology to quickly and precisely cool the bottle to the optimal degree. SRP $495, qelviq.com
As students of wine start learning and tasting more, they start accumulating more bottles; therefore, a proper place to store them becomes a necessity. Both standalone wine coolers and wine racks are a worthy starting point, with the ultimate decision up to the recipient. Vinotemp offers some reasonably priced, quality coolers, including popular picks of six, 12 and 28-bottle touch screen devices. Whereas, Wayfair stocks a selection of bottle racks from mounted to shelves and floor stands.
Wine for a year
When you’re just starting out in wine, the best thing you can do is taste as many different styles and varieties as possible. With today’s e-commerce, there are a plethora of wine clubs that offer subscriptions for regular deliveries of wine, from monthly to quarterly, throughout the year. Snoot is a starting point for true newcomers as it prioritizes education around the basics. If you’re looking for something more specific and want to delve into a particular variety or region, try fatcork for bubbles; Component Wine Club for premium single varietal wines from Napa, Sonoma, Provence and Bordeaux; and ACME Fine Wine’s Under The Radar club for discovering picks even your sommelier friends might not know about.