Tools & Toys

Here are some gadgets that we love!

Tools & ToysOK, so this has to be the least expensive trick for serving a perfect glass of wine we’ve ever seen. There is a fine mesh screen that is part of the stem which goes about three inches into the neck of the bottle. The screen acts as an aerator as you pour!

Forget about “letting the wine breath” or decanting before you serve. No need to wait, or risk spilling any precious wine. Just plop one of these pourers into your bottle and pour away! The cap lets you store the left over wine (that could happen, right?) until next time without trying to wedge the old cork back into the bottle. We own half a dozen and have given them as gift toppers, too. You won’t be disappointed.

Tools & ToysTools & ToysWe received this rapid wine chiller as gift, and I must admit that I was skeptical. I did not believe that anything could cool down a bottle of wine in 10 minutes. But one use made me a convert. The device spins the bottle in one direction for a few seconds, then reverses and spins in the other direction. Back and forth, only spinning in any direction for a few seconds. Brilliant!

The wine inside the bottle mixes against the wall of the bottle, which is up against the water and ice. The back and forth motion means that all of the wine visits the cold bottle wall every few seconds. The result? Chilled wine, just like the box claims! Oh, and it can operate on batteries, too, so those picnic outings can include a bottle of wine that you picked up at the market. Try it, you’ll be a convert, too.

Tools & ToysTools & ToysThis is probably not going to be an impulse purchase for anyone, but this deserves some serious consideration. If you have a wine collection of any size, you probably have bottles stashed away throughout your house. Some of the collection is being treated well, probably in the back of your fridge or maybe a small wine cooler. But admit it, much of your precious wine is stuck in odd corners, on bookshelves, or in our case, under the piano. This wine refrigerator came to our house about six months ago, and I can’t imagine doing without it. It has two zones; one for red and one for whites. To my delight, the two zones actually do maintain two different temperatures. The control is amazing; I’ve never seen the temp guages vary by more than a degree, usually after I’ve been shuffling around inside.

Tip: If you get this bad boy, you should also take a look at and the companion app for the iPhone, That’s about the only way to know what you have and how to find it again. It has saved me serious money when I’m out wine tasting, because I can check my home inventory on my iPhone and avoid over-buying. The web application also prints restaurant-style wine lists, so that you (or your guests) can browse the collection and then actually find the bottle that you want. When you are ready for a serious wine fridge, this one should be at the top of your list.