Five Essentials You Must Have at Home for the Ultimate Wine Experience
Now that we are out of lockdown, we can finally enjoy gastronomical experiences at fine dining restaurants, with all their beautiful ambience and impeccable adornments. However, no one’s cancelled having a glass of wine over Netflix, nor the occasional home-cooked Friday night meal. While we may be eager to flee our homes at the minute, with time, we’ll undoubtedly return to our familiar, cosy environments. That’s precisely why you should consider investing in the following five essential tools for an exceptional wine experience at home.
Here are my top recommendations:
First thing’s first: a reliable bottle opener
We’ve all been there: you’ve got the wine, you’re excited to take that first sip, but you don’t have — or have a faulty — bottle opener. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and you end up trying out a range of creative tools, like keys, a spoon, or other accessories. Lesson learnt: you absolutely need a reliable bottle opener at home, and maybe a spare one, too. Your bottle opener needn’t be fancy or electronic, as its job is quite simple, which is to open the bottle without crushing the cork into pieces. When it comes to old vintage wines where the cork is usually extremely fragile after 30 years of maturation, I recommend using the Ah-So wine opener. The one on the picture ;-)
Perfect glassware to enhance your perfect wine
To really understand the importance of using correct glassware, I challenge you to try your next white wine at home from 3 different glasses – a Champagne flute, a white wine glass with open-style borders, and a proper white wine glass. You’ll find that the intensity that is the bouquet of aromas will feel very different in each glass. Thanks to decades spent as a Sommelier, I can say with 99,9% confidence that I know which glass you’ll prefer! The finest, most elegant and grape-driven glassware can be found in the collections of Zalto, Riedel and Zweisel. Gabriel Glas, with its winning, single shape, is perfect for big gatherings and wine tastings.
A vessel to help the wine breathe
Virtually all wines — white, red, rosé and bubbles — benefit from the process of decanting and aerating. When it comes to older wines, decanting is usually required to remove sediment, however, grape varieties like Malbec and Garnacha also naturally have sediment even at a younger age. When it comes to aeration, our aim is to let the wine breathe, open its wings, and let it fly, so to speak. Aeration – the process of pouring wine from the bottle into the decanter – lets wine get air and enables it to blossom, helping it show its full array of characters and flavours.
Tools to preserve and nurture
While wine loves aerating in the glass and decanter, too much air will definitely kill it. If you want to keep wine for several days, you need to prevent it from oxidizing. Respecting and being mindful of your wine makes all the difference to how you will experience a particularly gorgeous bottle! I recommend looking into simple Champagne and sparkling wine stoppers that keep all the bubbles in; also the beloved Eto decanter that pushes out all the air and protects wine for a good 3 days. If you’re looking for an expert preservation system, then look no further than Coravin – a dream to add to your extensive wine collection at home.
Submerge yourself in wine books
The world of wine is expansive and ever-changing. It’s wonderful to not only learn about the producers, but also about the style of wines of a given region, and recommendations for other fabulous wines to try. That’s when passionate books filled with immersive stories from the wine experts of the world come in handy! When you love wine, even the most boring looking encyclopedias will read like the finest romantic novel!
To finish off on a poetic note, here are the wise words of Ernest Hemingway:
“Wine is one of the most civilised things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”
Wouldn’t you agree?