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There are few things more enjoyable than a good glass of wine, so why not give it the respect it deserves? It doesn’t take much to outfit yourself with all of the best tools required to effectively open, consume, and enjoy any bottle. From wine openers and decanters to bottle stoppers and preservers, there is no shortage of gadgets to help you elevate your wine at home. Some of these also make great gifts for the wine enthusiasts in your life. Read on and choose your favorites, and please never try that shoe trick with a beautiful bottle of Burgundy.
Here, the best wine tools to stock your home bar.
Best Aerator: Vinturi V1010 Essential Red Wine Aerator
Noticeably improves taste
Initial plastic smell
If you don’t have time to decant, consider a wine aerator. Like a decanter, an aerator’s goal is to unlock new flavors in a wine by exposing it to oxygen. Unlike a decanter, an aerator works instantly. This model from Vinturi is designed to be held over a glass. Just pour the wine from the bottle into the aerator. As it flows, the aerator will force air through the wine, helping to open up the flavors. While it's generally easy to use, our tester notes that anyone with shaky hands may want to avoid this method of aeration overall, since it requires steady hands and a precise pour.
"We found [our wine] to be much smoother than our non-aerated glass, and the tart bite that the wine originally had was gone." — Joline Buscemi, Product Tester
Runner-Up, Best Aerator: Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer
Simple to use
Easy to clean
Good for parties
May not fit all bottles
This aerator from Vintorio is designed to attach directly to the neck of a wine bottle. After the aerator is placed, the wine can be poured as usual and will bubble as it flows through the aerator. This design makes it easy to place the entire bottle of wine on a table and pass it around, aerator and all. While our tester noted it looks awkward and doesn't feel high-end, it was extremely easy to use. So even if you or your guests aren't familiar with using aerators, the only thing you need to do is pour.
"In a taste test of aerated and non-aerated glasses, we did notice that it made our wine taste smoother and it cut down the bitterness of the aftertaste." — Joline Buscemi, Product Tester
Best Electric Opener: Secura Stainless Steel Electric Wine Opener
Includes foil cutter
Transparent corkscrew mechanism
Wobbles on charger base
Foil cutter can be knocked off easily
Some users report breakage over time
For extreme ease, consider an electric wine opener. To remove a cork with one of these, you just hold the opener in place and press a button, although our tester notes you do need to apply a bit of pressure. On your command, a corkscrew descends and retracts, removing the cork with minimal effort. In our test runs, the cork came out cleanly and in a matter of seconds.
This electric opener from Secura is rechargeable, so you don’t need to worry about being caught without batteries during happy hour. It’s a great option for anyone with mobility restrictions, or for those who just find corks to be a little tricky. Use this for bottled still wine—it will work well on either natural or synthetic corks.
"Another innovative feature is the transparent shell of the corkscrew mechanism, which eliminates any guesswork and allows you to easily line up the opener with the cork." — Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Corkscrew: HiCoup Kitchenware Waiter's Corkscrew
Requires a bit of muscle power
Inexpensive, versatile, efficient: There's a reason that waiters and sommeliers most often rely on the simple wine key. Although there are all sorts of exciting tools out there, this is all you really need to get the job one. This option from High Coup is sleek and small, and comes in a variety of color options, from a subtle black to a stylish moonstone.
It features a hinged knife, which should be used to cut and remove the foil, and a double-hinged fulcrum that makes pulling corks out smoothly a cinch. The worm is made from stainless steel for extra durability, but you don’t need to worry about this product breaking. The upside of working with such a simple tool is that there’s basically nothing to malfunction.
Runner-Up, Best Corkscrew: True Zoo Corkatoo Ombre Waiter's Corkscrew
Easy to store
Mostly plastic construction
If you want to bring a little personality to the table, this cheeky parrot might be for you. This little bird is just as effective as a standard wine key but has the added benefit of looking pretty cute when propped up on your bar cart. Don’t worry, no cockatoos were harmed in the opening of this wine bottle.
Best Bottle Stopper: Joie Expanding Beverage Bottle Stopper
Not solid rubber
This bottle stopper is exceptionally versatile. It’s designed to be placed in the neck of a wine bottle and to expand as it’s locked in place. This means that it will be able to achieve a tight seal on any size bottle. Use it to preserve giant magnums of wine, little bottles of sherry, or even vinegars and liqueurs with missing caps.
Runner-Up, Best Bottle Stopper: Rabbit Wine Bottle Stoppers
Easy to use
Needs to be charged
Doesn't work as well for champagne bottles
Rabbit, in general, makes very good wine tools. If you find yourself with an unfinished bottle one night, here's a stylish solution for you. These bottle stoppers will do a good job protecting your unfinished wine from too much air exposure, and they’ll look good doing it. As an added bonus, they’re easy to place and remove.
Many stoppers are designed to be shoved inside the top of a wine bottle like a cork, but it can be difficult to get a good seal, and, once that’s achieved, it can take a little work to remove them. These are designed to fit around the outside of the bottle like a Tupperware lid. Just place on top and tug to remove.
Best Decanter: Vintorio GoodGlassware Wine Decanter
Made from lead-free recycled glass
Difficult to clean if hand washing
When it comes to decanters, there’s some accounting for taste. Most likely, this is an object that will sit on your dinner table, so you want to love the way it looks. For function, the important things to keep in mind are surface area and ease of pouring. The point of decanting is to expose the wine to oxygen. A decanter with a large base will allow the wine to spread out. This increased surface area speeds up the decanting process by exposing more wine to air at one time.
Of course, it still needs to function as a serving vessel. Pouring your wine onto a sheet pan would expose it to air quickly, but unfortunately, it would be next to impossible to serve it. This decanter from GoodGlassware features a wide base and a slim neck with an angled spout for ease of pouring.
Best Sparkling Wine Stopper: OWO Champagne Stopper
Easy to operate
Not dishwasher safe
What’s more tragic than wasting Champagne? If you find yourself unable to finish off a bottle of sparkling wine, it’s best to have a locking wine stopper on hand. The extra tight seal will keep the wine’s carbonation in place, and the locking arms guarantee that the stopper won’t go shooting off inside of your refrigerator if a little pressure starts to build up. This super-strong stainless steel option from OWO will get the job done, and it comes in gold and rose gold options for a little added glamour.
Best Wine Preserver: Vacu Vin Wine Stopper
An affordable way to preserve open wine
Comes with two stoppers
Won’t work on sparkling wine
The Vacu Vin wine preserver takes saving wines up a notch. While a bottle stopper will prevent new air from circulating through an open bottle, this preserver actually allows the user to remove air that’s already inside. To use, insert the rubber wine stopper into the bottle until you hear a click. Then, place the vacuum pump over the stopper and pump the handle several times to extract air from the bottle. By limiting the wine’s exposure to oxygen, you’ll be able to preserve its most delicate flavors for up to a week.
Best Opener for Delicate Bottles: DeVine Ah So Cork Puller and Bottle Opener
Won’t break fragile corks
More difficult to use
Wine corks can be fragile. Age and improper storage will both make a cork more difficult to remove. If you’re lucky enough to be uncorking an aged wine, the last thing you want to do is crumble the cork into the bottle. A two prong cork puller is designed to remove a fragile cork without damaging it. Instead of driving a screw into the cork, one prong is inserted on either side of the cork, and then the cork is gently eased out. The Ah So wine opener comes with a convenient storage case, and the staggered prongs make it easy to insert.
Best Bucket Chiller: Williams Sonoma Hammered Stainless Steel Wine Bucket
Difficult to store
For sparkling wine, or long dinners outdoors, the best way to keep a bottle of wine cold is to store it in an ice bath. A bucket chiller is the easiest solution for this. Just fill with a mixture of ice and water. This option is affordable, and the timeless design means you’ll keep it forever.
What to Look for in a Wine Tool
There are a variety of tools to help you drink wine, from those that assist you with opening bottles to those that are designed to make your vino taste better and store it if you don’t finish every sip. Some tools come in sets to cover all your bases, while others are sold separately. How often you drink wine, as well as your personal taste, will help determine just what type of products you may need.
Do you just want a tool that can uncork a bottle from time to time, or are you a serious oenophile? Of course, you want something that works, but some wine tools are built to stand the test of time, while others are more basic. Your budget and wine-drinking habits will determine your choices.
If you like to display your wine tools on a bar or in another visible place, you may want to choose ones that complement your other décor. Some tools are like works of art, while others are merely functional.
What does a wine decanter do?
A wine decanter is a simple way to expose wine to oxygen before serving. A wine bottle has a small opening, so even after the cork is removed there isn’t much airflow. Decanters are designed to allow more air to come into contact with the wine. Oxygen unlocks the aromatic compounds in wine and enhances our ability to perceive its flavor.
How long should you decant wine?
The amount of decanting time required depends on the wine. The more robust and complex the bottle, the longer it should be decanted. For young, light wine like pinot noir under 5 years old, 30 minutes of decanting will do the trick. For a fuller red, like cabernet sauvignon or Syrah, allow an hour. Some aged wines can decant for up to 4 hours.
What does a wine aerator do?
Simply put, wine aerators agitate wine to introduce oxygen. It’s the same goal achieved by decanting, but aerators accomplish it more quickly, and without pouring all of the wine out of the bottle. This makes them a good choice for occasions when you’ll just be pouring one or two glasses.
Should you aerate white wine?
For most white wines there’s no need to aerate or decant, but there are still occasions when it can improve the flavor. If a white wine is too cold, the flavor will seem muted. Decanting or aerating will warm the wine up quickly. Aerating can also be a way to get rid of unwanted flavors. Decanting or pouring through an aerator can help dissipate aromas like sulfur.
How do you preserve wine after opening it?
To preserve a bottle of wine, you want to limit its exposure to oxygen. The easiest way is to put the cork back in the bottle and place it in the refrigerator. Resist the temptation to turn the cork around. It may seem easier to fit the "clean" end back in the bottle, but that increases the risk of contaminating the wine.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Madeline Muzzi is a food writer and wine expert. In 2015, she completed an advanced course in wine at the International Culinary Center in New York City and passed the test to become a certified sommelier. Madeline personally owns three types of corkscrews and has tested out dozens more. She rarely breaks corks, but frequently breaks wine glasses.