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Here’s a fun fact about me, Carl Craft: I’m not just a beer and bourbon guy. I’m a wine snob. Well, not really snob. But a wine fan. Sure, I’m ok dropping big coin on a great bottle of wine to age. But my real favorite wine is the cheap bottle that tastes expensive. So here’s a few items that are on my list of things I need in my house as a wine fan.

  • Chef Craft Select Waiters Corkscrew with Foil Cutter and Bottle Opener

    Duh, a wine opener. Quite possibly the most important item for any wine fan. You can’t enjoy the wine if you can’t get it open. There are tons of different kinds of wine opener. There’s battery operated, there’s the “wing”, there’s the “lever”, and there’s the “bar top”. All of those are way more complicated than they need to be. For me and my needs, it comes down to the basic “wine key and waiter’s corkscrew”.

    To use it, get the screw part started and put the first lip down on the edge. Lift a bit and then put the second lip on the edge to pull the cork out of the bottle.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on this: Always remove the foil before opening the bottle. Use the little knife to go around the top of the bottle or just peel the entire piece of foil off.

    Here’s a good one that I’d choose (pair it with a bottle of something decent and you have a good gift):

    Get It Now From Amazon
  • Wine Decanter

    Some wine will benefit from being poured out of the bottle into a separate bottle. The process lets the wine interact with oxygen and helps the wine breathe a little bit. This is especially important if the wine has been aged a few years but almost any wine will benefit from pouring into a decanter before pouring into a glass.

    Here’s the kind that I keep around, just in case.

    Get It Now From Amazon
  • Vinturi Red Wine Aerator Pourer and Decanter

    If you don’t have the time or patience for a decanter, which I rarely do, there’s always this nifty tool that will help oxygenate the wine. The trick with this sort of thing is to hold it over your

    glass and pour the wine through the aerator. It accomplishes the same thing as letting the wine decant for 30 minutes, or so. Just don’t forget to rise out the aerator with cold water after using it. You don’t want to have wine dry in it.

    Fun fact: I never, ever wash the decanter or aerator with soap and water if I can help it. And I always store my decanter with a bit of rolled up paper towel stuffed into the neck so that it doesn’t collect dust while sitting on the shelf.

    Get It Now From Amazon
  • Glassware

    I do think that glassware matters. It probably doesn’t matter much, but I think it matters a little. The people who are really big wine snobs have a different glass for each kind of wine (Pinot vs Cabernet, Chardonay vs Port, Champagne vs, well nothing really).

    I’ve reached the point in life where I generally don’t care if the glass matches the wine. In fact, I’m happy pouring my wine into a short tumbler. But sometimes it’s nice to pretend. Honor points

    to the lead-free wine glass revolution because no one should knowingly put lead into their body.

    Riedel and Spiegelau are two brands worth a splurge if you’re gifting a wine lover for their birthday.

    Get It Now From Amazon
  • Hangover Cure

    OK, so there’s no real hangover cure. The only cure for a hangover is NOT drinking. However, for those of us who have cut down on booze most days of the week, we may still find ourselves having a few glasses of wine every now and then. For those times, a hangover protection program makes a lot of sense.

    Get It Now From Amazon

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