Wine and weekends go hand in hand.
There’s not much that can top relaxing on a rooftop bar with your mates and sipping on a glass of malbec, riesling or whatever other variety tickles your fancy.
…Or is there?
You betcha. We’ve got a roundup of new gadgets for your vino, because the only thing better than wine is wine with an upgrade.
Keeping the fizz in an opened bottle of champagne is no easy matter, and the products that promise to do this are very often disappointing… Enter Zzysh Champagne, a handy stopper that not only preserves bubbles, but also replaces the air in an opened bottle with a mixture of argon and CO2, which prevents the wine from oxidising. Each individual cartridge can save up to four bottles, and the system is compatible with all types of wine bottles.
The Coravin system, which allows drinkers to pour a glass without opening a bottle, relies on a fine needle that can pierce a cork but leave it intact once it has been withdrawn. In June, the American company unveiled its Model Eleven, a new smart Coravin.
When the accessory is attached to a bottle, a green light indicates when the wine can be served. The handy LED display also warns users when they need to change the system’s gas cartridge, when it needs to be cleaned and when the battery is running low.
Via Bluetooth, the Coravin can connect to the dedicated application Coravin Moments, which allows users to consult tasting notes and pair wines with different foods. Wine lovers can also take pictures of their favourite bottles and stock them in a virtual wine cellar. The Model Eleven will go on sale in October. Bundled with six gas cartridges, it will retail for around a thousand dollars.
Waiting 30 minutes or even several hours for a wine to breathe can be inconvenient, but soon, you may not have to. Earlier this year, a crowdfunding campaign for a start-up that aims to produce a smart aerator raised more than US$120,000.
The device can scan labels and connect to a smartphone app to determine the amount of air required for a particular wine, and it simply attaches to the neck of the bottle being served. The first aerators are due to be delivered in September.
Price: $175 dollars, available for pre-order from Indiegogo InDemand
Will I actually like this wine? Many wine lovers know relatively little about the characteristics of their favourite tipple. All of this is set to change with the MyOeno, a pen-shaped scanner that can measure a wine’s strength, acidity and tannins and relay this information to a dedicated smartphone app. The software can also be used to record tasting notes and preferences, and once it has been trained, MyOeno can help find wines that correspond to users’ personal tastes. Whether they are in a wine shop or a restaurant, users can simply photograph the label on a bottle to see if they will like the wine it contains.
Wine lovers often have trouble finding a specific bottle especially if it is located in a well-stocked cellar. To put an end to hours of searching, a French start-up has devised a smart wine rack. The modular storage system connects via bluetooth to a dedicated application that photographs labels, maintains a cellar inventory, and remembers the location of specific bottles. When a user chooses a bottle from the inventory on his or her phone, a light blinks on and off under its position on the wine rack.
Price: Presented at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, Caveasy was launched with a crowdfunding campaign. Pre-orders are currently unavailable, but it is still possible to express interest at www.caveasy.com. Prices from US$230 for 2 racks.
Different wines should be served at different temperatures: 8°C for champagne, 16°C to 18°C for full-bodied red wines, 9°C to 12°C for white wines etc. A wine that is served too cold will lose a lot of its aromatics, while the body and the alcohol in a wine that is served too warm – and red wine often is – will likely be overpowering.
Enter the Kelvin K2 wine monitor, which measures wine temperature from outside of the bottle and relays realtime information to a smartphone app. Users are informed of the time required to chill bottles, and are notified when they have reached the right temperature.