No gadgets needed for a good pinot

No gadgets needed for a good pinot


Who: McManis Family Vineyards
What: 2014 Pinot Grigio
Where: Ripon, California
Why: A good wine and no opener needed
How much: $10

I am a sucker for wine gadgets. In my kitchen there exists a plethora of corkscrews and openers, foil cutters, aerators, wine charms and bottle accessories. Some are very useful while others were simply a waste of money, but fun just the same. The one item that gets the most use and is essential is the opener. Yes, a simple corkscrew would do, but there are so many other choices. Let's investigate the different types of wine bottle openers.

First, there is the standard metal winged corkscrew. It's not fancy, not expensive and always does the job.

Second in line is probably the pronged cork puller. This gadget has two flat metal prongs with one being a bit longer than the other. The prongs are inserted between the bottle and outer edge of the cork, then one proceeds to rock back and forth or twist the puller to remove the cork. Don't bother. These are hard to use and rarely work well.

Third would be the waiter's corkscrew. These are great because they're small, portable and can be used as a weapon should the need arise. They have a metal screw, known as the worm (or said weapon), with a lever on the side for pulling out the cork. Great for picnics or anyone who feels the need to always have a corkscrew (or weapon) on hand.

Next, things get more technical with a rabbit opener. These usually look cool and work well for a while, but never seem to last long and especially have difficulty with synthetic corks so common these days. These are rarely worth the money.

Then we get to the mother of all openers, the electric corkscrew, which happens to be my favorite. I've tested many brands trying to find one that is reasonably priced and lasts. The winning brand is Ozeri, which comes with a foil cutter attached to the top and a light in the cork chamber. The Ozeri is lightweight and works well on all types of corks. It's the winner, hands down.

If someone prefers not to mess with any openers, there is always the choice of a screwcap and this week's McManis Pinot Grigio has just that. This wine is reasonably priced and tastes great with almost any type of summer fare. It also won Best of Class and scored 94 points during the 2015 Los Angeles International Wine Championship. This wine is crisp with a hint of mineral and a nose full of citrus scents. Upon opening there is an immediate rush of lemon, lime and grapefruit. It is everything one would expect from a nice Pinot Grigio.

This is a random thought, but wanted to share just the same. Did you know Davis Liquor has wine tastings? If you show up around 4 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, there are cups, napkins, and a case of wine to be tried. I've discovered a couple of nice everyday wines at these tastings. What is presented is usually moderately priced and worth the hassle of getting through construction at 21st and Amidon, which will have you ready for a drink at 4 p.m.

So, drop by Davis on a Saturday and have a taste. And if you happen to be in the market for a wine opener, don't overlook the Ozeri.