I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I have noticed some beautiful wine stoppers while perusing kitchen aisles and knickknack stores. Usually, the more unusual they look, the more expensive they are.
The Expand and Seal Bottle Topper from Joie is not especially cool-looking, but it’s only $3 and promises to “keep freshness in and flavor divine.”I thought it would be a good deal to pass along if it actually did what it claimed.
I opened a bottle of California merlot Aug. 21, and a month later a co-worker and I still enjoyed the flavor. We’re not wine connoisseurs, but the wine did taste the same as the day we opened it (I kept the bottle in one of the coldest areas of our office). And for a $5 bottle of wine, it was delicious.
>> Does it work?: Yes!
>> Pros: The low price makes it easy to keep several on hand for a variety of bottles. The stopper locks into place, so if you swing the bottle, turn it upside down or toss it, the liquid will still be kept safe (you never know what a few glasses of wine will do to people). Easy to use. Small. Comes in a variety of colors, including green and red, making it a good stocking stuffer (yep, I’m already thinking of my Christmas list).
>> Cons: It doesn’t work on all bottles. The necks have to be long (not short like a vinegar or water bottle) and not too wide (best if just shy of three-quarters of an inch or less). Some might not like its simplicity and lack of charm.
>> Cost and availability: $2.99 plus tax at Simply Organized in Kahala Mall (a staffer said they sell out fast but are always on order), $1.99-$6.99 (depending on quantity) at joieshop.com ($5 shipping on orders of $40 or more, free on orders of $75 or more), $1.99 (standard shipping rates) at containerstore.com and $8 for a three-pack (free shipping for orders over $25) at amazon.com.
>> Worth it?: Yes!
LIGHT-UP STOPPERS MAKE TABLE GLOW
I also found bottle toppers that light up. While they aren’t as secure as Joie’s, I like the dual purpose of Rabbit’s L.E.D. Bottle Stoppers. They would be perfect for an outdoor party.
The light is a soft glow, so an outdoor table lined with these lighted bottles would give a nice ambience and be much safer than candles.
A two-pack is $16 (plus shipping) at rabbitwine.com. The enclosed battery runs for 96 hours and then can be replaced.
Find rechargeable bottle lights at bedbathandbeyond.com ($9.99 for one, free shipping on orders over $29) and amazon.com ($28.88 for a six-pack, free shipping).
Got a gadget that you love? Curious about one you’d like us to test? Email email@example.com or write Crave, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813.
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