BEPPI CROSARIOL: WINES & SPIRITS COLUMNIST
Peugeot waiter's corkscrew
Screw caps may ultimately take over, but until then I want this black steel corkscrew in my man purse. Scarier-looking than a medieval dentist's tool, it features an ingenious folding foil cutter instead of a blade, so it's airplane-carry-on-friendly (well, at some airports). There's also a two-step lever for a straighter, cleaner pull. $16.99 at the Pepper Mill ( www.peppermill.biz).
Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or
Or means gold in French but also in Gaelic. And that's the colour of this glorious whisky as well as sauternes, the sweet Bordeaux dessert nectar. The delicate spirit was matured for a short period in barrels that had contained sauternes, enabling it to soak up some subtle flavour from the wine. Genius. A great combination of grain and grape flavours (notably malted barley, lemon and sweet apricot), it's the perfect after-turkey whisky. $92.65 in Ontario ( www.lcbo.com for outlets that stock it).
Vinturi white wine aerator
This funnel from Vinturi cranks your white wine to 11. A couple of years ago, the company had success with a red-wine aerator that gargles the wine as it flows through, rapidly exposing the liquid to oxygen. Whites like chardonnay and riesling can benefit from aeration, but you don't want too much air. This device not only amplifies fruity qualities, but helps to blow off volatile sulphur compounds, especially in white wines sealed hermetically under screw caps. $59.95 at Home Outfitters ( www.homeoutfitters.com) and upscale housewares stores.
Glencairn crystal whisky-glass gift box
These are the new, fine-crystal version of British company Glencairn's brilliant whisky glasses, the design of which has become the standard for Scotch appreciation. Lighter and with a cut (rather than thick and rounded) rim, they still combine a tulip-shaped bowl, critical for concentrating aroma, with the heavy, stemless - dare I say masculine? - base. Save those dainty Scotch glasses for crème de menthe. $57.95 for a set of four through www.whiskyglass.ca.
Sagaform Pic-Pack wine bag
I came across the khaki canvas tote at far left at the Mission Hill winery boutique in Kelowna, B.C. Most wine bags are ugly, dorky or both, but this one was designed in Sweden (praise be) and is amazingly tasteful as well as washable. It also comes with two plastic glasses and a corkscrew. Concert in the park, anyone? About $35 through www.sagaform.se.
Alfred Hitchcock was a wine geek. In his 1946 Nazi espionage classic starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, vino pretty much drives the plot, from the premier-cru Burgundy bottle filled with uranium to the celebrated cellar scene. The director's trademark cameo appearance (it's about an hour in) even has him downing a glass of champagne. Popcorn and Pommard, anyone? $14.99 through amazon.ca.
This winter, I plan to put a lot of heart into everything I do. The wee dram that will find its way into this groovy organ-shaped flask will ensure it. $25 at the Drake General Store ( www.thedrakehotel.ca/dgs).