"Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used."

How much wine gear do you really need?

Wine Stuff

Matthew DeBord/KPCC

Does this scare you? It shouldn't, because nobody really needs a whole bunch of wine gear.

A lot of people are intimidated by wine because they think they need to master a special corkscrew or buy special fancy stemware or use special decanters. It goes on and on. And the wine world doesn't help matters by marketing lots of...what's the technical term I'm looking for here? Oh yeah — junk to folks who aren't all that experienced.

So how much wine gear do you really need? Well, you can get by with a pocketknife and a Solo cup. Actually, if you buy wines that are sealed with twist-off screwcaps, you can dispense with the pocketknife. And if you don't need to stand on ceremony, you can get rid of the Solo cup. A glass wine bottle is its own kind of stemware.

I'm not really advocating either of these tactics (please don't drink straight from the bottle, unless you're having a picnic in Paris). But what you should obtain is a good corkscrew. I recommend a simple model from the Screwpull brand. It's basically fail-safe. You'll never ruin a cork.