Top Ten Wine Gadgets

Have you been thinking about what to get the wine guy or gal in your life? If so you've come to the right place, as the CCWB has rounded up a "LIST" of the Top Ten things every wine-geek should have or will want to have, besides a bottle of their favorite trophy wine. So I've scoured the far reaches of the 'internet' and have come up with ten top gadgets that would make any self-respecting wine-geek smile.

Speaking of smiling, something many wine-geeks guys and gals may have a problem with if they don't have the proper toothpaste to handle those purple stains which have them sporting a purple-haze on their grille. So here we have recommendation number one, which will be the perfect anytime gift to keep the "pearly-whites" white.

1. Sensodyne ProNamel Toothpaste: This is a very innovative oral care product, very different when compared with traditional kinds of toothpaste and includes an acid protection formula known to fight wine acids and fruit Acids. The average SRP $10 for a two pack of 4oz tubes.

Here's the second thing I'd like to recommend, a product so many wine-geeks, wine-snobs or even your garden variety juice jock would love to have is the Vinturi Wine Aerator. I've heard so many folks speak about the benefits of this device, although it does not have the CCWB seal of approval, I'm sure that wine enthusiast in your life will thank you immensely for your thoughtfulness. It is especially helpful for young red wines.

2. The Vinturi Wine Aerator:  Most folks will agree that a vast majority of "RED" wines need to breathe [aerate] before you imbibe, to thoroughly enjoy that elegant bottle of red wine you spent hours picking out. Thus enter the Vinturi, which claims it can hurry this process along versus waiting for what sometimes can amount to hours with traditional decanting. The average SRP $40 USD.  

The third best [a real word, trust me] gift you can give your favorite Oenophile [also known as wine aficionados or even self-described connoisseurs] this year is a traditional decanter. This is a gift they will use many times and thank you over and over for your thoughtfulness. Many folks that live here in the states and specifically California [awful CA palates] drink quite a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of wine. So whilst the device driven aerators are commanding the attention of many, my go-to is still the Riedel Cab Decanter especially for older red wines, where sediment may be an issue.

3. Riedel Cabernet Decanter:  I'm going to recommend the Cabernet Sauvignon Decanter as the best overall choice. This is a excellent decanter which I often use and makes all the difference in the flavors and aromas of wines I drink. It's one of the more reasonably priced decanters you will find, as the costs on some that supposedly deliver better results can be very pricey. SRP USD 50 most places and can buy online still in time for the holiday.

Bonus Extra: Decanter Cleaning Beads are a great addition as a stocking stuffer for the wine-geek who has everything. Clean your decanters with these ingenious stainless steel beads. All you do is add water [I suggest vinegar] and gently swirl the steel pellets, which will smoothly roll over and gobble up stains and deposits left by many older red wines. SRP USD 9.

The fourth thing I'm going to suggest is the Vacu Vin Wine Saver Gift Set. This is perfect for folks that may not want to finish that entire bottle of red wine they've opened [I know hard to believe]. It's also perfect for any wine enthusiasts who may have opened say a bottle of overly aggressive Chianti, which could do with a few more days of being open, with a minimal amount of air. I've used this system many times and can personally attest that it works great.

4. Vacu-Vin Stainless-Steel Wine Saver: Extracts air from opened bottles to slow down the oxidation process and keep wine fresh for 7 to 10 days and best of all it makes this ingenious "click" sound to let you know when optimum vacuum level has been reached. Make sure you get a couple extra of the reusable rubber stoppers as the gift set only comes with two, trust me on this one. SRP USD 22 most places.

The fifth wine-related gift your favorite wine-geek may enjoy is this excellent two for the price of one offer from Oster and featured on Amazon is their 4208 Inspire Electric Wine Opener with Wine Chiller. Some folks who don't have a lot of room to keep chilled bottles in their fridge will appreciate a place for their wines to chill out before serving, especially true for white wines and even better for Champagne. The electric cork remover is great for that wine guy or gal that may be afraid of the traditional corkscrew, the waiter's friend.

5. Inspire Electric Wine Opener with Wine Chiller: This electric bottle opener removes corks [up to 30 on a single charge] at the touch of a button and comes with a recharger for fantastic cordless action and also includes thermal stainless-steel wine chiller which can keep wine cold for hours. SRP USD 35, but currently on sale for $28 on Amazon.

The sixth thing you may want to consider is stemware, a set of stems is paramount to fully being able to enjoy the vino that you've spent good money to purchase and time considering your choices. Remember this if you don't remember anything else, well-made stemware is critical to accurately enjoy well-made vino. On the other hand, if the potential recipient of your gift frequently quaffs two bucks [up] chuck or similarly priced jug like wines, better suited for that well-used half-gallon AM/PM mug.

6. Riedel "O" Glass is the original varietal specific stemless wine glass and in my opinion, makes a great all-around wine glass for a majority of Red and White wines [except Pinot Noir]. Riedel describes it this way, the "O" Cabernet/Merlot stemless wine glass is not only stunning, but it is also practical, fun and versatile. Great for everyday wine enjoyment and dishwasher safe. They are made from non-lead glass and holds approximately 21 ounces.

They are the kind of glass that allows for easy swirling of the wine in your glass and without fear of spilling while stacking efficiently in the cupboard. A set of 2 glasses for an SRP of USD 25. This glass will have everyone saying "O"! Many folks will pooh-pooh these glasses because of the "heat from your hand" issues to which I say, "it's a NON-factor."  They also use this same glass in many of the better tasting rooms in Paso Robles.

The seventh item will help you with your storage issues. So do you want to splurge a bit for the budding wine-geek in your life this year, but they are off to the dorms, or they are living in minimal accommodations. Well I've found what could be a fantastic product for the person who wants to store their wines correctly, but only have enough coin for a few bottles at a time, then I present to you the "NEW" and ultra sleek SIX pack wine cooler. You can even hang it on the wall if you wanted to really maximize your space.

7. The Vinotemp "Six Pack" Thermoelectric Wine Cooler Refrigerator: I found this at the Beverage Factory here in San Diego. Some of its features include a sleek, wall-mount design, eco-friendly thermoelectric technology, a glass door with recessed handle, touch screen temp control and digital temperature display. SRP $300 and on Sale now for $223.

Coming in at number eight is this fantastic product for helping you keep your cool. The Peugeot Thermal balancing Wine and Champagne bucket. While great for helping you keep your cool, this bucket will also help you stay high and dry as it is pulled in and out of the bucket to dispense your favorite libation, because it does not use ice. Instead, it uses four non-toxic removable ice-pack inserts, which can be kept in the freezer.

8. Peugeot Thermal-Balancing Wine Bucket: can be purchased from the Beverage Factory in person or online and are currently offering free shipping on this product. Sells for an SRP of $65 USD.

9. Wine Classes: This next gift idea is for aspiring professional who would love to give a wine-related career a swirl. This can be done at the CIA, yep you heard me right you can attend something called Career Discovery—The Professional World of Wine course offered at the CIA. Ah maybe you're thinking um what does the CIA have to do with discovering a career in the beautiful world of vino. Short one-word answer, everything. Especially when the acronym stands for Culinary Institute of America. Their Career Discovery class is a great way to "test the waters" before embarking on a new wine-related career, a look before you leap experience not to be missed.

"Our Career Discovery class is a great way to "test the waters" before embarking on a new wine-related career, a look before you leap experience not to be missed. The tuition for this class is USD 895 and is four days long and starts soon"

Finally, I bring your attention to number ten, and I can pretty much guarantee that your favorite wine guy or gal is jonesing for their very own wine cellar. Though this idea is too big to gift wrap, however, this conversation piece would make you the envy of wine-swirling vino-sapiens everywhere. 

This is a wine cellar that even the gadget-laden, Tuxedo wearing, James Bond would be intrigued by and the perfect hiding space to help corral that collection of vino that has been hiding out in the coat closet. It can hold up to 1600 hundred 750ml bottles, it's nine feet across and requires nearly no energy to maintain the perfect cellar temperature year around.

What is it you may ask, the one and only Spiral Cellar. This gift would definitely require a little more planning on your part, but in the right circumstances, this could be one heck of a surprise to the recipient and to your guest who encounters a trap door in your house. 

10. Spiral Cellars: A spiral staircase leading 9 feet underground, surrounded by rows of shelves designed to hold 1,600 bottles of wine. Boom problem solved, even if you don't have space, no problem. The answer is just below your feet. The price tag for this fantastic addition to your home, [are you sitting down]Cellars costs anywhere from $32,000 to $50,000 depending on the bells and whistles you decide to add.

Well, folks, that's my top ten gifts to give this year, have a fantastic time enjoying these accouterments. May your glass be full and your cellar brimming over with beautiful wines to share with family and friends, cheers. May you all sip long and prosper cheers!
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