Wino Wally's 







Looking for that difficult gift for a wannabe wino?  Although many of the wine catalogs have featured their sales as Fatherís Day specials, these items selected are good for any Winoís collection.  Order all 12 and treat that special Wino to your own version of the 12 days of Christmas.  Iíve perused several catalogs:  The Wine Enthusiast (WE) ( (1-800-356-8466), Wine & All That Jazz (WJ) ( (1-800-610-7731), and International Wine Accessories (IWA) ( (1-800-527-4072).  Sale prices are effective through June 11, June 13, and June 30, respectively.  The best price for the gift item that Iíve recommended will have the initials of the catalog after it.

If your Wino is buying more than one bottle of wine, heíll need a place to store it.  I have several recommendations:

1) 6-bottle Stainless Steel Wine Rack (WJ)            #35-801               $17.95
This is a clever device designed to sit on a counter top or the floor.  Only holds 6-bottles which could be a problem if youíre trying to become a Wino.

2) Compact Pine Cellar Cubes (WE) #1128                                       $29.95
One cube will hold approximately two cases (less if you have some of the bigger diameter wine bottles).  Multiple cubes can be stacked and lined up next to each other for more storage.

3) 54 Bottle Mini Cellar (WE) #2315001                                            $499.00
You can pay as much as $1200 for a glass door, climate controlled storage container for this many bottles, but The Wine Enthusiast has introduced its Lord Winston model (stand-alone) for this excellent introductory price scheduled to increase by $100.

Now that your Wino has a decent place to store the wine, heíll need something to open the bottles.  I have a couple of suggestions:

4) Screwpull Foil Cutter (WE) #3195                                                  $7.95
Everyone needs a good foil cutter.  Forget about cutting the foil or relying on your strong fingernails.  This baby gets the job done quickly and neatly.

5) Original Screwpull Tabletop Corkscrew (WE) #3110                     $19.95
This model is fairly fool proof and will last a lot longer than the version you can buy in your local liquor store (eliminate stores that cater to the wine set).

6) Estate Opener (WE) #3146                                                            $99.95
This baby is the classic opener used in restaurants and bars since 1890.  There are fancier versions in pewter and nickel, but youíre going to spend a little more money.  Make sure you get the updated version that handles the newer, flanged bottles.  Iíve given these as house-warming gifts to friends of mine who are impossible to buy for and these have been warmly received.  Guaranteed to open (and recork) a bottle of wine faster than anything else.

Naturally, a good Wino will need something to keep the wine chilled while serving. 

      7)      Rapid Ice Cooler with Guy Buffet painting (IWA) IB176-002      $10.95
There are others with a higher price tag, but this one cools the wine quickly and has a famous image (ďThe Charge of the Flower Bottle BrigadeĒ) on the side.  Chills from room temp to sipping perfection in 5 minutes.

      8)  13 gallon Copper Party Tub (WE) #1234                                     $99.95
Iíve seen these items everywhere including Target for less money.  However, theyíre smaller.  This one will hold a bunch of wine bottles and a decent quantity of beer and soda (for those non-Winoís).  In the non-summer months, you can use it as a planter (or to store your corks in, if youíre Wino Bob).

Storing wine, opening wine, cooling wine; what else do you recommend for the average Wino, Wino Wally?  Itís obvious, isnít it!  Glassware!  If you want something cheap, go to Chez Target.  Other than that, get Riedel Vinum Stemware.  The Sommelier Riedel is available for someone with an extremely large budget (just remember who gave you yours, Wino John!).  The Vinum doesnít have the percentage lead crystal, but offers the same tasting shape as the Riedel.  Currently, the best prices I found were:

     9)      Riedel Vinum Stemware (2 glasses)
Bordeaux/Cabernet/Merlot (IWA) WG20-002/2                              $42.95

     10)  Riedel Vinum Stemware (4 glasses)
Chardonnay/Chablis  (IWA) WG20-005                                          $57.95

If youíre throwing a buffet-style dinner party, you know how difficult it is for guests to eat and hold a wine glass at the same time.  Often, a glass will be placed on the floor or carpet and guess what your odds are of knocking it over?  Well, I found something that reduces that risk:

11)  Party Plate Clips (Set of four) (WJ) #70-100                              $19.95
These marvelous chrome-plated clips attach to the plate and hold a standard wine or Champagne stem.  Nice invention.  Order two or more for $17.95 each.

Lastly, if you didnít finish the bottle of wine (unlike any of the three Winoís writing for this website) and would like to save the remainder for consumption a few days later, thereís the one and only:

12)  Vacu-Vin Winesaver (WE) #3125                                             $13.95
This device is simply the most affordable way to preserve opened bottles.  Pump out the air inside your bottle and create a vacuum using the special pump and stoppers.  Buy two and cut the price to $12.95 each.

Fellow Winos, if thereís something on this list that interests you, print it out and hand it to that special person (who may buy it).  If you donít think theyíre interested, buy it yourself while the sales prices are in effect.  Good hunting!

June 1, 2001


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