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Wine Gadgets You Actually Need

There are dozens of tools out there to help you get the most from your wine, but you don’t need to buy them all. These are the essentials.
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Photo: Naomi Kawase / EyeEm ©

Better Wine on a Dime

When it comes to wine gear, it's easy to go over the top, through the shop and galloping across the vineyard. There are dozens of tools out there, and there are just as many sales reps saying that you ought to buy them all; you don't. To get the most from your wine, you need only a few items. You don't even have to spend much money — although, if you have the budget, there are beautiful, useful things to buy. A couple of worthwhile tools are downright cheap, and a couple of handy ones are free.


Photo courtesy of Naomi Kawase/Getty Images

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Vacu Vin Wine Saver, $14

Vacu Vin's a wine saver. For that reason alone, you'll find this item in many a bar and restaurant. To preserve an unfinished bottle of wine, Vacu Vin creates a vacuum seal that eases back on oxidization. It’s so tight that bottles are set-on-their-sides safe, with no dripping. It's easy to use: Work the pump until you hear a little "click." That's how you'll know the vacuum's set. This little gadget takes up negligible space, which is good news for those of us who are trying to cut back on clutter.

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Wine Away Red Wine Stain Remover, $9 for 12 Ounces

Spills happen, but stains don't have to. Evergreen Labs' Wine Away isn't a miracle substance — some stains (especially old ones) will resist it — but an astonishing percentage of the time, it will remove an equally astonishing percentage of a red wine stain. It'll pay for itself in one round of dry-cleaning, and it's far cheaper than replacing your sister-in-law's favorite linen blouse.

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Waiter's Corkscrew, $10

What makes a good corkscrew? A solid feel; cheap plastic is going to fall apart like a conversation on a bad first date. Yours should have a decent-sized blade to cut through foil, a coil that's long enough to sink deeply into a cork and, most importantly, a double-hinged fulcrum to make easing the cork out of the bottle completely foolproof. There are masses of brands in the marketplace, but Pulltaps corkscrews are sturdy and reliable, making them popular with servers and bartenders.

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