By Justin Taylor

The wine service world is full of entertaining options for optimizing your wine experience, either for yourself or guests.  With the warmer months on the horizon and some hard earned barbeques or house parties, it is never a bad time to break out new and very useful service gear for your wine stash.

You need to pop the cork on that bottle to kick things off, so my first recommendation would be a new development in the corkscrew.  A tool referred to as “The Durand” was designed specifically with older wines in mind.  The cork on a bottle that has been well stored in your cellar can suffer from a dry cork that breaks upon removal.  The original tool in this scenario was called a cork puller, which has now been outfitted with the traditional corkscrew.  This combo device is one that will find a home in any cellar scenario.

The next best advancement I found is a decanter with one very essential feature.  The Norm Peter Orsig wine breather enables the wine to be decanted into a 44 ounce vessel true to tradition.  However, for those looking to achieve decanting without finishing an entire bottle of wine, the wine breather will allow you to return the decanted wine into its original bottle!  I have found myself trying to address this before, and without a funnel in your kitchen, returning decanted wine to the bottle is quite a challenge.

The end of the affair, whether a great party or a picnic basket with wine dried to the glassware, may leave you struggling to clean out the glass properly.  My go to solution would be the Glass Cleaning Brush by Lemonade.  This brush suctions to the bottom of the sink, enabling you to give it the cleaning of the pros without the expense.  Keeping high quality glassware clean will ensure you don’t just collect nice glasses, but use them as much as you want.

The answer to Wine and Vine Trivia is Appalachian High Country AVA, covering Western North Carolina surrounding Banner Elk.  The Wine and Vine Trivia for next issue: Which Bordeaux red grape is rarely seen on its own, but makes a powerhouse of a wine?

Justin Taylor is winemaker at Parker-Binns Vineyard, Mill Spring, NC.