Wine accessories - Accessorise it

The latest wine accessory to add to your arsenal

What do you get the wine buff who has everything? Once, this question was quite hard to answer. Not another bottle of wine (you’d inevitably choose the wrong one); not another wine rack; or another standard corkscrew. You might have tried a book, but cautiously: he (and inevitably, it was a he) might a) already have it or b) disagree fundamentally with the author.

Fortunately, the 21st century has brought relief to frustrated gifters. The breakthrough product was arguably the Screwpull corkscrew range from Le Creuset, whose flagship “Lever” model came with its own carrying case and (initially at least) a hefty 3 figure price tag. Nowadays the wine buff who has everything can find themselves on the receiving end of aerators, decanters, ever more complex and shiny corkscrews, an astonishing range of glassware and even prefabricated wine cellars.

Last week brought the newest addition to the wine accessory canon – the Coravin 1000 preservation system. Designed by a medical device inventor, the Coravin is the first device that can tap the wine from a bottle without removing the cork or – most importantly – introducing oxygen into the bottle. At $300 a pop, it’s really aimed at the person who probably does have most things in life, including their own cellar, and is chiefly designed to answer the question: should I be drinking (insert the name of your favourite iconic wine here) now?

The launch of such a highly engineered product, at a time when economic confidence is returning to America, may herald another boom in the wine accessories market, at an interesting moment in its development.

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As well as the proliferation of new products, the wine accessory customer is starting to change. It’s still a male-dominated market, squarely in the minds of the makers of the Coravin, whose black-and-chrome finish wouldn’t be out of place next to a top-of-the-range sports car. However we can see the market is broadening, with more products consciously aimed at women drinkers such as the low impact Electric Blue Corkscrew.

It’s reaching the point where we ought to be producing a report on the subject, and discussions are now underway as to how we might best tackle the area. Watch this space.