Top 10 gadget gifts for wine lovers
What do you get the wine lover who has everything?
Cork screws, bottle stoppers and wine glasses, while essential, are hardly original. And most people who profess a love of wine will have attracted drawerfuls of wine-related paraphernalia over the years, much of it surplus to requirements. With Christmas approaching at lightening speed, we have rounded up a selection of practical, aspirational and outrageous gadgets for the wine-lover in your life.
While in places wholly unrealistic, this list is like walking through a winter wine wonderland. No corkscrews (well, maybe one), or bottle stoppers in sight.
Scroll through to see some of the most interesting wine-related gifts currently on the market…
“Game changing” wine access system Coravin, which allows users to pour wine without popping the cork, launched onto the UK market earlier this year at luxury department store Harrods. A decade in the making, Coravin technology works by passing a thin, hollow needle through the foil and cork of a bottle and into the wine. The bottle is then pressurised with argon gas in order to push the wine back through the needle and into a glass without any oxygen entering the bottle.
Its makers assure that after use, the wine will continue to evolve at a natural pace meaning a single bottle can be tasted on multiple occasions for years without the threat of oxidation. While the partnership with Harrods is positive news for Coravin, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the brand. In June the company was forced to issue a warning to customers after it received reports of seven bottles exploding – a problem it has since rectified.
Price: £269, with packs of two argon capsules costing £15.95. (US$421)
Finally, the solution for keeping your wine cool while reclining on your sun lounger. The Vinnebago promises to keep your already chilled wine at “virtually” the the same temperature for up to 25 hours, thanks to a “huge break-thru in traditional insulation technology”. Using a third layer of insulation, its makers claim to have produced the “most beautiful, best-performing insulated bottle ever.” Say hello to a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio while soaking up the summer sun and goodbye to a warm beer. Simply fill up the Vinnebago and get ready for a day of beach-side imbibing.
Price: $29.95, Corkcicle (£19)
The Sonic Decanter, which claims to be able to improve the taste of wine using sound waves, could soon be stocking the shelves in your local wine shop. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise $85,000 (it actually raised $135,000 with 860 backers to date) , the invention is on the cusp of being commercialised. Invented by Charles Leonhardt and marketed via Dionysus Technology Concepts, in addition to improving the flavour of wine, the Sonic Decanter also allegedly enhances aroma, mouthfeel and finish “in minutes”. According to its Kickstarter page, the patented technology uses “safe, ultrasonic sound wave energy” to change the molecular and chemical composition of wine, reducing sulphur dioxide levels. After placing cold tap water and your chosen wine into the decanter, all you have to do is push the “Red” or “White” button and wait for 15 minutes. The device can also be operated on smartphones via the Sonic Decanter app. Its makers claim the device also works on closed bottles of wine to the same effect and can also “reinvigorate” wine that has been open for a few days.
Price: It is expected to go on sale in the US priced at $199 (£127)
Limited Edition Bollinger Champagne Cooler with bottle of 1999 Bollinger
Originally released to coincide with the launch of the 2008 James Bond Quantum of Solace film, just 200 of this limited edition Bollinger 007 Bullet cooler were produced. Launched exclusively at Harrods at £3,000, the bullet-shaped cooler was designed by French designer Eric Berthès. Inside was a magnum of Bollinger La Grande Année 1999.
Price: £3,000 (US$4,917), Harrods
The “virtually indestructible” VinGardeValise is a rolling hard shell suitcase lined with high-density, temperature-regulating foam that protects bottles while in transit helping wine lovers bring their beloved bottles home from their travels. It weighs around 20kg when packed with a dozen 75cl bottles, making it under the limit for a checked bag with airlines like Air France, British Airways, KLM and Alitalia. If you only want to take a couple of bottles home, the remaining foam can be removed from the 45 x 30 x 66cm case to make room for other travel essentials. Created by wine accessory designer Barry Wax, the VinGardeValise took three years to develop. Perfect for the galavanting wine lover in your life.
Price: £150 (US$235)
Bicycle wine rack
Transport your wines in style with this leather bicycle wine bottle holder. Simply strap it to your bike frame and away you go.
Price: $34, Oopsmark.com (£21)
Riedel Swan Decanter
Make a spectacle of yourself at your next dinner party with this extravagant decanter from global glassware giant Riedel. Launched in 2008, Riedel’s swan decanter has been designed to mimic the curvature of a swan forming a “J” shape with an “exaggeratedly elongated straight neck that narrows to the elliptical lip”. The swan is mouth-blown and made of lead crystal and is capable of holding a standard 750ml bottle of wine.
Price: £395.00, Riedel (US$618)
Krug Flânerie Champagne cooler
Combining fashion with Champagne, House of Krug’s Flanerie (French for stroll or saunter ), was launched in 2012. Designed to carry your favourite bottle, this luxury leather bag and cooler will keep a bottle at a steady 10ºC for two hours. Considering it comes with a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée, which goes for around $149 on its own, it’s actually quite a bargain in the eyes of db.
Price: £185 ($200)
£100,000 wine corkscrew
This £100,000 contraption contains 300 brass steam engine parts weighing half a ton, which will uncork and pour a bottle of wine by winding a handle. Creator Rob Higgs, described the giant bottle opener, which doubles as a sculpture, as “completely excessive” and, while wholly unnecessary, is brilliant fun. He added: “This is a statement on the over industrialised society we live in with all the bells and whistles.” The invention comprises not only scrap steam engine parts but also clock springs and cannonballs.
Price: £100,000, not available to buy (US$156,000)
Veuve Clicquot’s Porsche-designed Champagne cooler
Finally we come to perhaps the most extravagant Champagne cooler of all time. Just 15 of these futuristic Veuve Clicquot coolers were produced by Porsche retailing at a staggering $70,000 each. Each of the 12 individually lit compartments will hold a magnum of bubbly maintaining a constant 12ºC (54ºF). While most mere mortals have no chance of ever procuring such a luxurious machine, you can’t deny it’s impressive craftsmanship.
Price: £43,000 (US$70,000)