Before you're able to properly enjoy all the tasty craft wine you're now capable of finding, you need something other than a hunting knife to remove the cork and a coffee mug to drink out of. That said, finding a decent set of glasses and a good corkscrew can quickly get expensive and overwhelming. But never fear! Here's a handy first-timers buying guide.
Let's start with two types of wine glasses that aren't good.
Okay, got that off my chest.
The easiest way to get more bang for your buck is to get a set of good quality basic red wine glasses like these from Riedel (which are included in the Winestyr new employee welcome package). They have a shape that complements most wines, they're dishwasher-safe, and they're not so expensive that you'll have a panic attack if you (drunkenly) knock one off the counter. If you're clumsy (like yours truly), stemless are also an option, though they don't maintain proper temperature like stemmed glasses.
There are a million varieties of cork removal gadgets on the market, and all of them do generally the same thing. Some are really impressive looking, others a little more ridiculous, but our pick (and what we always have on hand in the office) is this waiter's corkscrew. It's simple to use, compact for your kitchen drawer, and has a foil cutter attached (which I still haven't quite mastered, but at least i'm trying).
The corkscrew & glasses (and wine of course) are the only truly required elements for a great wine drinking experience, but there are a few other gadgets that might be nice to have around as well.
Carafes / decanters, like this one from Crate & Barrel, are a great way to let the wine "breathe" the natural way. Plus they look super cool sitting on your counter. Many people ask us about whether they should buy some of the fancier gadgets, like this Vinturi...in general, we think gadgets like that are mostly unnecessary and make enjoying wine too complicated.
And finally, for the wine drinker on the go, a wine carrier like this one or these customized totes are perfect. They keep your wine cool and keep the bottles safe and sound as you travel to a backyard BBQ or your favorite BYOB restaurant.
As always, if you have questions or need recommendations (on wine or wine accessories), feel free to send us a message in the lower righthand corner or tweet me at @jordanbear. On that note-- do you have a wine accessory that you can't live without?