Sunday, December 19, 2010

Open Wine: Put a New-Fangled Cork in It!

Metrokane, known for devices as beautiful as they are practical, produces the Houdini Wine Preserver, left. It is perfect for those multiple wine bottle nights. Photo from

HEAD’S UP: December again already. It’s the gifting season, which means more things to do with less time to do them in. Don’t despair. At VEVLYN’S PEN, we are here to help. For the next week or so — 12 days before Christmas ending on 22 Dec. — each day we will introduce a product/item, brand or nifty shop that we believe is worthy of consideration for those very special gifts.

Gift Idea No. 9:


you hate it when you’ve got seven bottles of decent wine left open after your dinner party? Does it pain your heart to have to choose between finishing a fine bottle of wine and finishing off your liver?

Well hello world, there’s no need to suffer. In fact, the solution is quite simple: suck the air out of the bottle. Wine tastes old because of oxidation. (Yes, the wine is rusting.) Remove the air and remove the oxidation.

No, no, no, don’t go sucking on the bottle. Instead, check out these gizmos that do the job instead. Manual vacuum pumps such as Metrokane’s Houdini Wine Preserver are easy to use. (

Simply pop the specially designed stopper in the bottle. Place the vacuum on top, and draw the air out of the bottle until you feel resistance. The bottle is sealed and the wine is saved for up to one week. Just remember: Store the bottles upright.

Vintage Vac, the Bentley of wine bottle vacuum savers. It perfectly seals and is digitally temperature
controlled. Photo from

Manual vacuum pumps are inexpensive ($7-$20). The Houdini Wine Preserver is $12 at Some pumps come with as many as three stoppers. Extra or replacement stoppers are available, too. Pumps are also available at wine stores, or even Target where, Houdini is on sale for $10.97. (; search: "wine preserver")

Now truth be told, there’s room for error with manual pumps. On occasion, the stopper
might let air in, especially if it is more than a few months old. To keep fine wines, try Vintage Vac. (

Battery operated, the Vintage Vac device not only seals one bottle of wine perfectly but also maintains it at the precise temperature needed to keep the wine as fresh as possible. Wow! Your own private one-bottle temperature controlled wine cellar. Vintage Vac is available at Sharper Image. ($34.99); http://; search: Vintage Vac)

Savor the wine; save the wine, and drink responsibly.

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