wine glass of the right size and shape is a contributing factor
to the enjoyment of wine. However, there is no need to rush out
and spend a fortune on wine glasses. To get the maximum enjoyment,
select a wine glass that is made of thin, clear glass. It should
be long-stemmed, with a large bowl narrowing slightly at the top,
and should hold at least 10 fluid ounces. The large bowl is designed
to capture the bouquet of the wine. The glass should be filled about
half full, thus holding between four and five ounces. To enjoy sparkling
wines, get a champagne flute or a slender, tulip-shaped glass. The
shape of the glass will enhance the aroma and will concentrate and
preserve the "bubbles" of the sparkling wine. If you have
a big budget, just go ahead and invest in different shaped glasses
for the different types of wine. It certainly will make it much
more fun to drink wine.
certain to get a good corkscrew to open your wine bottle. There
are many different kinds to choose from. Besides the expensive and
large contraptions used in most winery tasting rooms and some restaurant
bars, there is the simple device with two metal prongs, which must
be forced down the side of the cork to extract it; the pump, and
the basic corkscrew that can be purchased in any wine store for
about $1. The classic, professional corkscrew, which most waiters
use, does the best job. The sleek, flat, metal, pocket-size device
has a correctly proportioned corkscrew (especially the ones made
in Italy), and an attached metal lever makes it easier to extract
the cork. The corkscrew comes equipped with a small knife that also
enables you to cut the foil at the bottle neck.When you attempt
to open a bottle of wine, go easy. You do not want to shake up the
bottle unnecessarily. Start with cutting the foil below the lip
of the wine bottle by using the knife on your corkscrew. Peel only
the top of the foil away. You do not want to "undress" the bottle
by removing all of the foil. Next insert the tip of the screw into
the cork. Push down gently, and screw it about 2/3 into the cork.
Pull the cork straight up by using the metal lever on your corkscrew
for leverage. Pull the cork half out of the bottle neck. Now screw
further down into the cork. Be careful not to screw through the
bottom. You want to avoid getting cork particles in the wine. Then
gently pull straight up and ease the cork out of the bottle.
wine bucket is great to have on hand if you enjoy white and sparkling
wines, which are best enjoyed when served chilled. Set the wine
bucket on your dinner table, or if you have a wine bucket stand,
set it next to your table, to keep your wine cold. It will come
in handy, especially in summer, when you want to enjoy hot nights
dining out on the terrace or balcony. The bucket
is also great for chilling wine quickly. All you need to do is fill
the bucket with ice, add water and put the bottle into the slushy
ice. The wine will be chilled in very little time.Wine buckets
come in many shapes, sizes and materials. The conventional metal
bucket used by most restaurants seems to be the most practical.
If you shop around, you may find more attractive ones made out of
glass or lucite.
also may want to invest in a decanter. It is used to decant wine,
which means that wine is poured out of the bottle into a container.
The reason for doing so is to let the wine "breathe,"
which means to let oxygen go to the wine to "open it up"
to allow it to unfold. This is recommended for older, fine red wines,
for young red wines, or for young, sulfurous white wines. Some old
vintage wines benefit from decanting to rid them of sediment. Use
extreme caution not to shake up the wine. This is especially important
when handling older reds. Before decanting
the wine, let the bottle stand upright to allow the sediment to
settle to the bottom. After carefully extracting the cork, pour
the wine slowly into the decanter. Stop pouring when you can see
the sediment. A decanter
also comes in handy to serve wine poured from magnum wine bottles.
This way you are able to present your inexpensive wines in a nice
container. The average
wine drinkers simply let the wine "breathe" by uncorking the bottle
and letting it sit for a while. For some wines, it may not be enough,
since the neck of the bottle is very narrow, and not much air will
get into the bottle. Another simple way to let the wine "breathe"
before drinking it is to pour some wine into a large wine glass,
and let the wine "unfold" that way.
other small investment you may want to make is the pump device called
Vacu-vin. It can be purchased in any liquor store. It will come
in handy when you open a bottle of wine that you are not going to
finish. The stopper, which is part of the assembly, has a hole.
After closing the bottle with the stopper, the pump is inserted
in the hole, and the air can then be sucked out of the bottle. This
procedure reduces the effect of oxygen on the wine and may add a
few days to the life of your wine.