Sommeliers know that the size and shape of a glass affect the way your senses interpret wine. Even so, most folks just buy what they think looks best. Consider Riedel's new "O" line. Critics of these legless orbs say that heat from your hand will warm the wine and that smudges from your fingers will dirty the glass.We say: Drink quickly with clean hands - these unique glasses are worth it. They're less likely to break and can go right in the dishwasher. Plus, they come in seven shapes and sizes to accommodate different grape varietals. For more information visit www.riedel.com.
Shipping wine from a vineyard is an easy alternative to lugging it back home. You can also sign up for a wine-of-the-month club and have a special delivery on your doorstep every few weeks. Visit www.davisbynum.com to join Club Eno, a program that delivers wines to its members four times a year. Contact your state liquor control agency for more information on shipping regulations.
No matter what wine you prefer, you can't drink it if you can't get it open. Here are our picks of the finest wine openers.
1. Won't break apart the cork: Don't be fooled by its complex appearance - this contraption by Screwpull is a breeze to use. A foil cutter and stainless steel wine stopper make the cost easier to swallow. Get the Lever Model Wine Opener at www.cooking.com for $99.95.
2. Takes up little space in your drawer: A nonstick-coated worm makes this sturdy device stand out from the rest. Find the Vigneto Waiter's Corkscrew at Williams-Sonoma for $25.
3. Leaves you with more money to spend on wine: We found the Farberware Wing Corkscrew at Bed Bath & Beyond for $4.99.
Drinking from tumblers is a European tradition, but the practice is not widespread in the U.S. Riedel's "O" stemless wineglasses just might change that.
This article is from our 2005 Weekend Living special issue