Wine tools

Enjoy your next bottle with these items.
Stainless steel soup wells hold two bottles and are perfect for summer nights. Photo by iStock

You can find a plethora of products promising to elevate your wine, but we asked Phil Kessling, GM at Leon & Son Grand Rapids and certified sommelier, which ones are really must-haves. Whether you are enjoying a bottle alone or kicking it with friends, make sure to up your game with his suggestions.

Quality all-purpose wine glass
I prefer the World Market Connoisseur Bordeaux Glass — a lead-free crystal glass made in Germany and inexpensive. Riedel Sommelier glasses are at the other end of the spectrum. Mouth blown, thin, expensive and relatively fragile. I save these for very special occasions as I have broken many through the years.

Good wine key
I recommend the Pulltaps double hinge. It is light, durable and inexpensive. My favorite at the house is the Pulltaps Toledo double hinge made with stainless steel, wood grips and a little bit larger knife at a higher price.

There are two main reasons to use a decanter; when you are drinking a younger age-worthy wine and when you are drinking an older red wine that was meant to age. The younger wine needs some air to show off, while older wines need to be decanted to prevent sediment from getting into your glass. My most used decanters also come from World Market: Thumb Decanter and Flared Decanter. Both are mouth blown in Poland.

Silicone stoppers
I use two different types. One fits into the bottle opening and the other type slips over the top. You can actually lay an open bottle on its side in the refrigerator with these. Inexpensive and available from Amazon.

Chiller/ice bucket
My favorite is a stainless steel soup well. It holds two bottles and is perfect for summer nights on the patio or porch.

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