The best of…wine accessories
This compact, inexpensive, and durable wine key remains “the gold standard of bottle openers.” Note the double hinge, and the slender worm with a Teflon coating. It can be trusted with bottles that cost $20 or $800. Just keep an extra on hand.
For most wine drinkers, there’s no better way to preserve opened wine than a spray of Private Preserve. The mixture of inert heavy gases blankets the wine to prevent oxidation. Each use costs just 8 cents, and a can will last most drinkers two years.
Coravin Model Eight
This “ingenious” device lets you taste a fine wine before you even open the bottle. A slim needle pierces the cork, and the wine that’s poured is replaced with argon gas to preserve the remainder. “For rare and valuable old wines, it’s worth the price.”
Source: Wine Enthusiast
Plum Wine Dispenser
At last, a countertop appliance that “pours the perfect glass at the touch of a button.” The Plum holds two bottles, each chilled to optimum temperature based on label data. Like the Coravin, it uses a needle to extract a serving and preserve the rest.
$1,499 for preorder, plum.wine
Corkcicle’s tripleinsulated, stainlesssteel canteen will keep any beverage cold for 25 hours. The 25-oz size is just right for a 750 ml bottle of white or rosé—and “perfect for a glass-free zone, or when you’re miles away from a refrigerator.”
Source: Wine Enthusiast
Tip of the week…
Four car-maintenance hacks
■ For old bumper stickers: Pull off what you can, then dampen a sheet of newspaper and lay it over the area for 15 minutes. The messy residue will soften and “be easy to wipe away.” Gently scrape any excess away with a credit card.
■ For cloudy headlights: Smear toothpaste on a clean rag and start scrubbing. The mild abrasives in the toothpaste will clear away a thin layer of the headlight lens surface while filling in tiny scratches.
■ For frozen locks: Apply hand sanitizer to your key and start working it into the lock. The alcohol in the sanitizer thaws ice, and you might just be carrying some on a cold night when you most need it.
■ For a chipped windshield: Use clear nail polish to fill a small chip or crack before it spreads across the whole windshield. When the polish dries, it will be “almost completely invisible.”
Source: Popular Mechanics
And for those who have everything...
Slippers, “the most no-fail gift ever,” have stepped into a new world. Warmies Cozy Plush Body Boots are made to be microwaved: Just zap them briefly and they emerge “magnificently warm and cozy.” They’re filled with millet grain and lavender, both of which have drawbacks. The millet is heavy and hard to walk on, and the lavender makes a wearer smell “like an old lady perfume store” until the slippers have been nuked a few times. But the filling can be chilled for cold therapy or warmed for heat therapy, and the plush fabric is “extra soft to the touch.”
How to avoid fake shopping apps
■ Be skeptical. Hundreds of counterfeit retail apps have started popping up at app stores this holiday season, so don’t count on Apple or Google to filter them out—the editors can’t keep up. The fakes have included apps that appear to link to Nordstrom, Zappos.com, Jimmy Choo, and many other brand-name companies. The pirate apps can steal your credit card information or infect your device with malware.
■ Read the fine print. The name of the app publisher is sometimes a giveaway but not always: Overstock Inc. was a fake while Overstock.com is real. The rogues often originate overseas, though, so spelling errors are common. The fakes also usually have a recent publish date, and no customer reviews.
■ Go to the source. When in doubt, visit the website of the company you wish to shop from and use its “Get our app” button.