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Wine accessories

The first and foremost accessory a wine aficionado must have is a cork screw. Many bottles these days have a screw cap stopper, but many still have traditional cork, which certainly carries something of the romance of wine. Some of you will opt for complex systems but professional waiters and bar staff will usually carry their faithful 'waiter's friend' in their pocket - light, simple, a small knife to cut away the foil at the top and a middle hook to lever out the cork to half way .

Not as essential, but useful, are the various systems for preserving an opened bottle. The vacuum pump is the most popular. Rubber stoppers with a pin prick of a hole are placed on the mouth of the bottle and the air is vacuumed out with a pumping action. Another alternative is the spraying of an inert gas into the partially filled bottle and the putting the cork back.

Little foil pourers are another wine accessory. They roll neatly in place and catch the drips as one pours.

Ice buckets and chillers are also useful accessories. If you don't want to take up the space that an ice bucket uses, you will find rubber sleeves filled with water that you can prepare in your freezer then place over the bottle.