Cruvinet: A Cruvinet is a temperature controlled wine dispensing system, similar to beer taps. It uses gas to keep an open bottle of wine fresh for about two months, a fact that’s revolutionized the wine industry. Restaurants can now serve an immense variety of wines by the glass without waste. Today, restaurants can open many bottles at any price range, then serve the wines at the proper temperature, prevent spoilage and increase marketability because of the Cruvinet’s elegant appearance.
Stemless Glasses: Stemless wine glasses are essentially wine tumblers—they’re missing the characteristic stem that gives wineglasses their unique appearance. Riedel, the premier wineglass-making company in the world, has spent the last several years (not very successfully) marketing them in America as part of their “O” series. In actuality, stemless glasses have been around forever. They’re commonly used in Italy and other countries, and for all intents, they are very practical, since they don’t knock over or break as easily as regular glasses. Restaurants love them for that reason.
But wine aficionados tend to steer away from stemless ware. Temperature is the single most important factor in getting the most from wine. Keeping your hand directly on the glass adversely raises the wine’s temperature, preventing the wine from evolving and displaying its best characteristics. Others make the case that stems are needed to study wines’ clarity or color, and that they’re required for proper swirling—an important step that oxygenates the wine and draws out its bouquet and aromas. Then there’s the feel. I prefer to hold my glass by the stem; ultimately, the glassware you choose should enhance your wine experience by feeling good in your hand.