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Accessories

We all need them. From corkscrews, to glasses. foilcutters, cloths, decanters etc.
How about using this thread for suggestions of products that work.
Better, if good but inexpensive.
I know that the Society is looking to do a major revamp of the “Accessories” list, at the moment only 12 items. Best accessed by the Accessories button on the Site Map or here:-

https://www.thewinesociety.com/SearchProducts.aspx?q=&hPP=60&idx=products_price_desc&p=0&dFR[type][0]=Accessories&dFR[type][1]=Glassware&dFR[type][2]=Wine%20Storage&is_v=1&pl=qaaj

If there is any wine related product that you think deserves it’s place on a Society list, then here is your chance to make a case for inclusion.

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I’d dump the 2 Vacuvin items as rubbish.

It needs a decent waiters-friend corkscrew, the one they have is OK for plastic closures and for removing capsule tops - I’ve got one like that I use for those purposes, but for proper corks I use a decent waiters-friend with a Teflon covered screw and a flanged lever.
Like this
waiters-friend

I’d add a decent Champagne/ fizz closer
Like this
champagne stopper

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I have a really nice effective waiter’s friend as well as a butler’s thief, that came free with some old bottles of Musar. I have always found the knives on the waiter’s friend rather ineffective on the capsule tops, even the serrated ones like I have, so recently I picked up one of these online and it’s perfect for the job:

There are my etos as well but I’m not sure whether they quite fall under the title of ‘accessory’!

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@MikeFranklin

I must have broken over 10 of the Screwpull version of these Foil Cutters.
I currently use the Society Waiter’s Friend, which has a cutter built into it. I have used it for several years without a problem. And at £4.75 is quite the bargain!! :+1:

I think that any item that is employed in the environment of the bottle, like a cooling sleeve, a bottle carrier, a can of argon, glassware or even a wine cabinet might in the looser sense of the descriptor be suggested.
Maybe the better way of putting it is, that there are NO WRONG answers.
Only gratitude from me for taking the time to post your suggestion.
And it will be Matthew and others at the Society to pore (hopefully) over the myriad of posts to then decide what items are worthy of inclusion on the Society’s Accessories List!!
Heck, you might even get a mention for a successful inclusion!! :wink: :wink: :grinning: :dragon:

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Two indispensible items in my wine accessory armoury are a collapsible rubber funnel and some unbleached coffee filters for decanting decent wine.

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I love my foil cutter too, my last one ended up blunt after so much use so I bought a new one - i thinks it a Le Creuset one and it’s a great.

Also an old wooden orange corkscrew that I inherited from my dad that can open everything except crumbly corks. Friends always comment how it’s the best corkscrew they’ve ever used. A bit like this but with much better handles:

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I do like the idea of having a foil cutter like that on the waiter’s friend but I like two stage levers (like in @peterm’s picture) rather than a one stage one like the TWS one. If they ever get a two stage one with a foil cutter like that I’ll be getting it with no hesitation.

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A decent glass polishing cloth. Whenever I use a tea towel, it always leaves bits of fluff or smear marks.

Since I picked up a microfibre cloth, I’ve not seen a speck of fluff or a hint of a smear mark. I bought mine from Amazon, but I’d hanker after a TWS-branded version.

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I got given a Le Crusset waiters friend as a Christmas present a few years ago, which has been brilliant. I also have a generic cheapy butlers thief which I picked up off ebay for a pound, which has been great at opening things with more fragile corks.

In a similar vein to @AnaGramWords, I have a funnel and (shared with my V60) unbleached coffee filters.

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Better than that; just live in a soft water area and you only have to rinse and they are brilliant with nary a smear in sight!

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I’d better move house then!

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I had a Screwpull one that broke into two. You have to bend it to press on the capsule and the weak spot is the plastic arch that joins the two cutting arms.

I have also had several Screwpulls that broke and I gave up on them.

I believe Le Creuset took over the Screwpull brand and the only difference is the branding.

I agree with the chiller sleeve. I bought one ages ago and another came free with a Cono Sur wine. I keep these in freezer.

TWS used to do a packet of two glass cloths, but one was dark red and I was never convinced the that that ink heavy cloth would be good.

My Dad had a corkscrew similar to one pictured by @Aaronb . As I recall it was OK on short corks, but no good on old long corks, but that two screw pull was nice and gentle.

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TWS champagne star thing - definitely. Works a dream.

TWS decanter. Which has vanished from the list - cant believe it. Above any other ‘accessory’ in TWS list it had the magical ability to transform a good (but harsh) wine into something sublime (ish).

And it fitted into a dishwasher so was actually practical. Unlike the precious cut glass or hand blown creations.

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For what it’s worth I’ve had relatively few troubles with corks since I started using a prong fiddle thing (butler’s friend/thief?) instead of a corkscrew as first choice implement for natural cork/diam (at least where wax capsules aren’t involved). The main advantage is that the main failure mode (pushing the cork down into the bottle) typically becomes apparent while the situation can still be recovered with a corkscrew, whereas once a corkscrew has failed it’s very difficult to do anything without gatting cork crumbs in the wine.

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Agreed. the bell shaped and stoppered decanter is brilliant. I have one and wanted to buy a second for those dinner party occasions when I want to decant more than one bottle.
We have soft water (because of a water softener - Essex has the hardest water) and I just rinse the decanter and drain it to avoid any odour from the dishwasher detergent or the hazing effect on the glass of the corrosive effect of the same.

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They are an ‘accessory’ to my mind - not integral to the drinking of wine, but a very useful adjunct - albeit at the more costly end of the accessory range!

I’m also an eto user - having purchased during the original Kickstarter offer. I find them very useful - albeit a bit of a fiddle to wash up (but at least they come apart, unlike other decanters). Certainly much more effective than Vacuvin stoppers, and a lot less expensive than a Coravin. They make it easy to have a couple of different bottles open at the same time - useful when on your own.

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These are exactly my reasons for liking the eto. And I will be opening two wines together for tomorrow’s Chianti tasting; I have two etos so each chianti will go in its own eto! :smiley:

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Of the current accessory range - I would definitely keep the Magic Balls for decanter cleaning - something I use quite regularly - and the Drop Stops.

Other things I would consider:

My Screwpull corkscrew is still going well after ~20 years of regular service. Probably something similar warrants a place on the list.

A friend gave us a couple of Vino Chapeau, which do actually work for concentrating wine aromas and making tasting notes easier to write.

If you don’t want to run to an eto for keeping wine, I have found 200ml glass bottles that take a Vinolok glass stopper work well for keeping wine (sometimes for weeks at a time if well filled). Being able to buy such bottles and some Vinolok stoppers might be useful e.g. if practicing tasting for something like WSET exams it allows a few tastings out of a bottle.

Wine glasses often attract strong opinions, but personally I would put the Zalto Universal glass on the list. Dishwasher safe, it’s a really light delicate glass, that provided you don’t try and wash up by hand has good longevity too. We use them as our everyday wine glass and put them through the dishwasher every time.

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On Screwpulls - they now make them with a metal body. It seems to weigh a ton by comparison with the plastic ones, but it’s hard to see it breaking any time soon.

I would also be in favour of the Zalto universal. I do have some Zaltos and have washed them successfully by hand for several years now without breakages. I know some restaurants also prefer to do it this way with Zaltos, so I suspect a bit of practice helps! But if you find that your dishwasher doesn’t lead to the dreaded white rim (mine does on other glasses), I wouldn’t waste any time worrying either way.

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Oh yes, I meant to add - how about a carafe? The flat-bottomed ones are seriously useful for wines that need opening up or are reduced. You can slosh the wine around with impunity as much as you like, and they are stable on the table. Something like this -

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