Whether you're a wine enthusiast or simply looking for a gift idea for the wine lover in your life, there are a growing number of quirky gadgets that no budding wine connoisseur should be without.
The festive season is almost upon us and it's time to start thinking about how you will celebrate with family and friends this year. Make use of the latest in wine gadgetry with a few of these suggestions to help you store, serve and enjoy your wine in the warm summer months.
Sensor-based apps for wine
An unattended wine fridge can be a serious concern for connoisseurs, but that needn't be the case anymore. A sensor-based app lets you monitor what's happening to your fridge through your smartphone. One of the versions available in Australia is the Elertus Smart Sensor. Available for purchase online, it keeps you updated of the activity in the surroundings of your wine fridge.
The idea behind this gadget is that you will be able to monitor your wine fridge from any location via your smartphone, inspiring confidence that your collection is safe. The battery-powered sensor works over Wi-Fi and offers protection against tampering and theft by notifying you (as the account-holder) when your wine fridge door has been opened. A valuable tool for wine aficionados and parents alike, it sends messages to a linked device, such as an iPhone, notifying you of changes in the temperature and lighting of the connected wine fridge. You will also receive notifications regarding any significant changes in the humidity level in your fridge. Humidity control is a concern because a high level may cause label damage, while low humidity may dry out the cork, causing it to crumble and spoil the winei
A wine aerator enables the filtering of air into wine and, in recent years, has been used as a preferred option to the more traditional methods of swirling and decanting or simply waiting for the wine to breathe. This accelerated breathing process maximises the wine's exposure to air and in doing so is considered to improve the taste. The electronic wine aerator was originally patented by Vinturi and helps speed up the process of decantingii.
The Vinaera Electronic Wine Aerator has recently offered an updated version to the Australian market and is a variant of the original Vinturi design. Vinaera's electronic model is activated by a 'one-touch' buttoniii. The gadget consists of a small stainless steel device, which is placed atop the open bottle of wine. As air is introduced to the wine before it leaves the spout via a button operation, this modification in design offers a dispenser that aerates as it poursiv.
Stainless steel wine pearls
As a clever alternative to ice, wine pearls are a form of stainless steel ice cube that allow you to keep your wine glass chilled for up to an hour. Unlike ice cubes that may dilute wine, the pearls house a re-freezable gel cooling agent, which maintains temperature without compromising flavour. They are non-porous, odourless and tasteless. Wine pearls are available online and at selected retail outlets and some versions can be personalised with a single initial at the time of purchase if desiredv.
For any unchilled wines, the wine pearls will allow you to chill your wine straight from the bottle, or, with their sleek appearance, can always be added to your favourite wine to enjoy sipping in stylevi.
Wine aroma wheels
A Wine Aroma Wheel is a tool to help identify the aroma and numerous flavour complexities of winevii. The wheel is generally divided into several colour-coded sections, which define the different flavours, scents and aromatic qualities of wine, regardless of grape variety. The inner segments provide broad flavour descriptions, whereas the outer segments assist you in identifying the 'secondary' or 'tertiary' qualities that may occur, such as tobacco, earth and stoneviii.
An aroma wheel will enhance your wine experience on the whole, and will also widen your descriptive vocabulary, which generally serves as a great conversation starter!
Wipe that red wine off your smile! If there is a downside to drinking wine, it would have to be the unattractive dark film that it can leave on your teeth and lipsix. For red wine enthusiasts in particular, wine wipes are a convenient way of avoiding awkward social situations that result from the unavoidable teeth staining that occurs with consumption. Wine wipes are generally hydrogen-peroxide based and usually come with a fruit-flavour that avoids the chemical aftertasteix.
Wine wipes are available to be purchased online and at selected retail outlets around Australiax. They offer a gentle method of rectifying the so-called 'merlot smile' and are a perfect addition to both wine hampers and gifts for attendees of wine tasting events.
Dishwasher-safe wine glass rack
Wine aficionados know all too well the hazards involved with placing glasses in the dishwasher, even when carefully positioned neatly on the top rack in a delicate cycle. The urge to hand-wash glasses is strong, but needn't be so. With the assistance of an easily attachable and dishwasher-safe stem-rack you can avoid bumps, falls and the heart-rending resound of a crack in your dishwashing cycle when cleaning your set of wine glasses.
The current designs feature adjoining and removable hand grips that attach to any vertical stem, so you can attach as many or as few glasses as you need, and will ensure that 'dishwasher-clean' sanitisation of your wine glasses. The StemGrip Stemware Holder will fit in most residential dishwashers. It is available to Australian consumers online and one set securely holds four glasses in placexi. The Quirky Tether Stemware Saver is a silicone alternative, also available for purchase via the company website.