Tag Archives: Form and Function

Review: Vacanti Spirale Wine Glasses

I’m really enjoying the upsurge in artistic, yet functional wine accessories. From corkscrews, to decanters, to stemware, form is becoming as important as function. Recently, Patrick Vacanti contacted me with exciting news about his new, innovative wine glass. The Vacanti Spirale wine glass is designed to capture sediment and solids in a specially designed reservoir at the bottom of the glass. If you enjoy aged, unfiltered, or rustic wines, but don’t care for that gritty last sip, this could be the glass of you.  

Patrick and his wife spent five years developing this glass. After sending out more than 600 samples out for review and feedback, and two patents, they recently launched sales of the Vacanti Spirale wine glass on Kickstarter, or via the Vacanti Wine Glasses website.  

My pair of Vacanti Spirale glasses arrived in an unassuming brown cardboard shipping box. Yet, when I opened that box, I was greeted by a beautiful, burgundy-red package declaring my two wine glasses were waiting inside. Opening this product box, I was impressed to find my glasses tightly nestled in dense foam packing, keeping them safe and secure.  

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Each glass is hand-crafted, giving them a unique, individual feel. Like an individual bottle of wine, each Vacanti Spirale wine glass is distinctive; similar to others in the batch, but uniquely different. When I lifted the glasses out of their traveling nest, I was amazed at how sturdy and strong they felt. They are quite hefty, thicker than most wine glasses I’ve handled. However, they maintain an elegant flair due to their attractive design.  

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, however, is the functionality. We put the Vicanti Spirale wine glasses to the test at a special occasion dinner at home. To accompany our grilled Rib Eye, baked potato (with all the trimmings, of course), and fresh green salad, I opened a bottle I’ve been holding awhile, for just such an occasion: 2007 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley.  

Once poured, the red wine makes the Spirale reservoir much more visible at the bottom of the bowl. The design of the glass makes swirling and sniffing a breeze, and efficiently delivers the delightful juice from the glass into the lucky recipient’s palate. As the wine rests in the glass between sips, any sediment in the glass settles to the bottom where it is captured by the swirls in the Spirale reservoir. When the inevitable sadness descends as the wine runs out, rather than ruin that last sip with a mouthful of gritty muck, the sediment remains in the reservoir. Genius!  

An excellent addition to the stemware collection for any serious wine-o, the Vicanti Spirale wine glass is as artistic as it is functional. If you enjoy unfiltered or aged wines, but abhor the sediment, pick up a pair of Vicanti Spirale wine glasses and give them a whirl!  

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Thank you note included.

* The Vacanti Spirale wine glasses I received were submitted as samples for review. No other compensation was provided. All reviews, comments, and opinions are my own. 

Form and Function: Avina Wine Accessories

It only takes one or two times. You arrive at the beach, or the picnic, or the hotel, thirsty for wine. You grab the bottle and reach for the corkscrew. The corkscrew. Where’s the corkscrew? Oh, no! You forgot the corkscrew!

It’s happened to me, and I bet it’s happened to you, too. Eventually, you commit to always having a tool at hand to liberate that wine from beneath the cork. Personally, I have two corkscrews in my car (glove box and trunk,) one in my picnic ice chest, and one permanently packed in each suitcase. I have become a fervent proponent of the notion that you simply cannot have too many corkscrews!

Then there’s that rare dilemma: leftover wine. What to do? You can shove the cork back in, but there is risk of leakage. If only there was a reliable, leak-proof, compact bottle closure.

Corkscrews come in a variety of shapes and styles. Some I like, some I don’t, and some I’ve never actually tried. I’ve also used a number of bottle closures over the years, with mixed results. So I was delighted when I received an email recently from Avina Wine Accessories, inviting me to try some of their products. They even offered me a choice in sample products. I’m partial to two-stage waiters corkscrews, and have never actually used a wing-style opener. (My folks had one when I was a kid, and I liked to play with it, but back then it was usually a jet plane or spaceship!) They graciously sent me both styles!

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The first thing I noticed when opening the shipping box was the attractive, high quality packaging. Glossy, color images on the lid evoke a sense of luxurious extravagance waiting within. The lid is snug, and once removed, the corkscrew and bottle stopper were securely held in place by a form-fitting foam insert. Very impressive!

The next thing to grab my attention was the modern and fun design of the corkscrews. Both are very attractive and aesthetically appealing. The Swan Easy Grip Wing Corkscrew is a satin blue color (also available in pink) with a full cylinder body; so much more attractive than the stark, stainless steel models I’ve seen before. Then I opened the box for the waiters corkscrew. Can a corkscrew be sexy? I say, yes! The Rhino Easy Wine Waiters Corkscrew is a beaut! Sleek design with incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail; the form, fit, and finish is a sight to behold! And to back the design with the quality, all Avina Wine Accessories products come with their “You Break It, We Replace It” lifetime guarantee.

So how do they perform? I decided to try the Swan Easy Grip Wing Corkscrew ($24.99 retail) first. As I mentioned, this was my first time actually using a wing-style corkscrew to remove a cork. It took an astute observation by my dinner guest that one really shouldn’t hold the wings when inserting the cork. (Translation: “You’re doing it wrong!”) Once properly positioned in my hand, the worm smoothly entered the cork, and with a gentle pressure on the wings, the cork started to emerge, finishing with a satisfying “pop!” This corkscrew performed great! It is smooth and easy to use, and fun, too! As with most wing-style corkscrews, the top doubles as a bottle opener, too, for those occasions when you want a cold beer. And when you’re not using it to open bottles, you can use it as a jet plane!

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Dinner Guest: “Um, I don’t think you’re supposed to hold the wings.”

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That’s better!

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After that satisfying “pop!”

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Beer me!

Next, I grabbed the Rhino Easy Wine Waiters Corkscrew ($26.99 retail) and gave it a whirl. This is one of four models of waiters corkscrews offered. The serrated foil cutter blade sliced through the cap smoothly and with ease. The worm and fulcrum were flawless as they aided me in accessing the nectar trapped within the bottle. Again, if you have a crown cap to open, just flip the Rhino around and use the bottle-opener end.

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Now that I had two bottles open, it was time to try the Wine Bottle Stopper ($12.99 retail.) When you buy a corkscrew, a Bottle Stopper is included for free, but you can also purchase them separately. While these are not vacuum caps, they do seal tightly, preventing additional air exchange. They snap firmly into place with the lower clip. To put the “no leaks, no spills” claim to the test, I laid a half-full bottle of red wine on its side, over a white paper towel, for 12 hours. The Avina Wine Bottle Stopper performed as promised, without so much as a drop leaking out.

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12 hours later and not a drop!

Whether for yourself, or as a gift to the winelover in your life, you can shop the entire line of Avina Wine Accessories at their website, or at Amazon.com. For a limited time, at either site, use the code AVINA15A at checkout to receive 15% off!

Cheers!

Disclaimer: All products listed and described were submitted as samples for review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.