The wine gadget drawer is where many of us keep the wide range of mechanical marvels that help us easily and efficiently serve and enjoy wine. From cutting foil to pulling corks, aerating, and pouring without spilling a drop – there’s a gadget to help us with just about any wine-related task. If you are a wine lover and haven’t allocated a drawer as a central depository for wine gadgets in your kitchen, bar or family room – don’t worry. You will eventually. You’ll tire of sifting through measuring spoons, garlic presses and nut crackers just to find a corkscrew. As your wine gadget collection grows, you’ll get to the point where you need – and deserve – a space dedicated exclusively to wine hardware.
So, what should go in your wine gadget drawer? In mine, there are tools that are used often and others that seldom make it out of the drawer. But I’m glad those infrequently used gadgets are in the drawer when I need them. Below is a photo of my wine gadget drawer. To help you fill your drawer with useful tools, I’m sharing the 10 must-have gadgets shown in my drawer. They should be easy to spot!
Here are descriptions of the 10 and links to get more information and even purchase these items for yourself or as a gift for a wine lover who’s just getting started with their gadget collection.
1. Manual Corkscrew My wood-handled manual corkscrew is double-hinged to keep the cork straight during extraction and is sturdy enough to last a lifetime. It also looks expensive, but isn’t. It’s also spring-loaded to increase engagement with the end of the bottle and make pulling the cork easier.
2. Electric Corkscrew If you need to open a lot of bottles quickly or have someone in the household who has trouble operating a manual corkscrew, electric models are great. You’ll see a power cord in my drawer – I prefer rechargeable models so I don’t have to stock batteries.
3. Four Wheel Foil Cutter When you need to cut foil off the end of a wine bottle, a four wheel foil cutter is faster and safer than the little flip-out knives usually found in manual corkscrews. Four wheel cutters are often included as accessories when you buy an electric corkscrew, but unfortunately they can wear out over time and having a spare on hand is a good idea. Mine is hard to see in the photo – it’s the chrome gadget immediately to the right of the wood-handled manual corkscrew.
4. Vacuum Wine Stopper I have several wine stoppers that have vacuum pumps built in. In my drawer, there is a black one below the manual corkscrew and a grey one below the electric corkscrew. These are a quick and easy way to pump air out of wine bottles when you need to seal them for more than a few hours and keep the wine fresh. However… if you plan to store partially filled bottles for more than 24 hours, I recommend stoppers with separate pumps, such as the electric pump that comes with the Ivation set or a manual vacuum pump.
5. Wine Stoppers With Separate Pump There are two types of wine stopper pumps that are great for removing air and keeping the bottle sealed for up to a week – manual or electric. Both do a better job of removing air from the bottle than stoppers with internal pumps described above. I keep a manual pump handy because they are easy to use. Many bottle stopper pumps on the market, manual and electric, use the same type of stopper. The three black rubber stoppers I show in my drawer work with manual or electric pumps and have date wheels on top so I can track when the stopper went on the bottle. Another benefit of vacuum sealed stoppers is that we can store partially-filled wine bottles on their side in the refrigerator or countertop wine rack without worrying about drips.
6. Wine Bottle Drip Stop Ring To the left of the black rubber stoppers is a silver drip stop ring (also called a bottle collar) with wine-colored plush inner liner. Just slip the ring over the neck of the bottle until it fits firmly and it will catch drips when you pour. Using these is usually a style choice, since pouring spouts are just as effective for avoiding drips.
7. Wine Pouring Spout There are two variations of bottle neck-mounted pouring spouts – straight or aerating. I have a few of both in my drawer. These are handy for controlling drips and exposing wine to air while pouring. They are especially useful at the dinner table, where pinpoint accuracy is important if you don’t want Cabernet Sauvignon in your mashed potatoes.
8. Wine Thermometer I use infrared wine thermometers a lot in summer to make sure I’m serving wine in the proper temperature range. With infrared, just point the beam at the wine and it reads the temperature without making contact. The Wine Mate model seen in my drawer often goes in my pocket when I leave the house for wine tasting on hot days. The All Temp Select (also in my drawer) works just as well and is easier to find in retail. Not sure about the proper serving temperature range for each type of wine? Check out my article Pour A Small Glass Of Chilled White Wine for more information and a chart with proper serving temperatures for all types of wines – white, pink and red. Pro tip: I point the thermometer at the wine itself, not the bottle as shown in the picture below.
9. Wine Chiller Stick I’m a big user of ice buckets when enjoying wine on the back patio in summer, but sometimes a bucket isn’t practical. To keep chilled wine at proper serving temperature at the table, insert chiller sticks. They come with a pouring spot and stopper, just store the metal rod in the freezer and stick them in the bottle to keep wine cold for up to an hour.
10. Wine Glass Markers Markers can be decorative and practical. It’s fun to decorate wine bottles and glasses on special occasions. Writing names or adding special markings on glasses so guests don’t lose track of which glass is theirs can reduce the number of glasses that need washing at the end of a party. Want to leave a note on a window or mirror? These markers write on glass of any type, dinnerware, and other solid surfaces. Marker comes off with a wet towel or in the dishwasher.
Have a wine gadget in your drawer that you can’t live without, but isn’t mentioned here? Share it in a comment below.