There are a lot of accessories and tools available for wine aficionados. But what do you really need? Liebherr’s master sommelier Frank Kämmer shares his tips with you!
Many of us enjoy a nice glass of wine. As we start to get more serious about what’s inside the bottle, the need for accessories will sooner or later arise. These four essentials should be covered before anything else:
1. Wine Glasses
Good wines need good glasses. This is how best wines can truly show their quality. Glasses of a high standard will have a variety of features: The volume of the bowl should be appropriate to the complexity and intensity of the wine. There should be a good proportion of between the bowl and the stem, so the wine can be comfortably swirled. While stemless glasses have gained in popularity, the stem itself actually serves a purpose. Wine glasses should, whenever possible, be held by the stem to minimize the transfer of body to the wine. High quality glasses will often be blown extremely thin-walled and feature a polished rim, rather than a noticeable bulge. The type of glass also has an influence on the taste of the wine – the bouquet will be more intense and clearer in a crystal glass as compared to cheaper varieties.
Start your collection of glasses with the 4 most common types.
- A smaller universal white wine glass
- A slightly bigger version for fuller flavored whites, roses and lighter reds.
- Tall with a broad bowl, the Bordeaux glass is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignons.
- A Champagne flute is the ideal companion for all your sparkling wines. The narrow design adds to the visual appeal of champagne, because the bubble can travel further.
- Complete your collection by adding a Burgundy glass, ideal for Pinot Noirs.
Even the best wines can’t bring enjoyment when opening the bottle is already a struggle. A decent corkscrew is a must, yet many households are missing this essential tool! The pocket knife inspired sommelier’s knife (also referred to as ‘the waiter’s friend’) is quite sufficient, and certain stores or vineyards may be happy to give you one for either free or really cheap. The helix should be spindle-shaped to the point that a toothpick could be inserted. Most household type corkscrews are more reminiscent of a drill. Their grip of the cork is actually not as good.
Using a decanter to serve wine isn’t just a stylish part of dining culture. With many top of the line red wines, decanting can be important for reasons of taste. There are three reasons for that:
- The addition of oxygen will make a young wine gain ripeness and become fuller.
- Sediment may form in the bottle of older reds. Carefully decanting the wine will keep that sediment in the bottle.
- Some wines may taste a little musty after opening. The addition of oxygen helps the wine develop its bouquet. Older wines lose substances like acetic acids. And even wines with characters can profit from getting room to breathe in a decanter.
4. Wine Cellar
If you want to get serious about collection wine bottles, you will need to give thought about the storage conditions. Fluctuating temperatures, vibrations and bright light can cause massive quality issues within a relatively short amount of time. Ideally, if you have a basement, you can build a storage cellar – cool, dark and free from vibrations. If you don’t, or if you want it all to be a little bit more convenient, a premium wine cabinet is best suited to recreate these conditions and Liebherr has something suitable for a variety of needs. From small wine cabinets intended for short time storage for frequent entertainers to three-temperature-zone wine storage cabinets for that can hold up to 178 bottles and create the ideal conditions for different types of wine. Ideal for serious collectors.
Find out more about our range of wine cabinets.