Avoid the whine this Valentine's Day

In case anyone was unclear, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Wednesday, to be exact. Since wine and romance seem to go hand and hand - at least, for those 21 years old and over - this day of love is a perfect time to share a bottle of that red, white or sparkling with a beloved.

In movies, the scenes always play out to perfection. Lovebirds gather around a candlelit meal, sipping from elegant glasses as they gaze into each other's eyes.

In reality, the cork usually breaks in half, the wine is probably warm and you only have those red Solo cups. For those who need some assistance trading their wine whine for fine wine, have no fear - help is on the way.

There's nothing sexy about gripping a bottle and, with all your might, tugging to remove that stubborn cork. Helping to unstop the bottle, the Good Grips Winged Corkscrew from OXO de-complicates the process.

The corkscrew's knob is wide, offering comfort for your hand - the ultimate goal of the corkscrew's design. As it's turned, gear-driven wings rise up to match the curl of your hand. By pushing down, the cork is lifted out of the bottle in one piece. The screw itself is coated in a non stick formula, so it glides easily into the cork. Retailing for $6.99, the corkscrew is available at retail home accessory stores.

Noise pollution can be a real killjoy. Especially if you're a wine. With thermoelectric cooling technology, the Cuisinart Private Reserve wine cellar eliminates excess noise and vibrations that can upset a wine's chemical formulation.

The countertop cellar can be set to eight different temperatures, suitable for a variety of red or white wines. An elegant way to store and showcase fine wines, the cooler is designed with a full-size wine cellar in mind, and features a stainless steel door with interior light. A cellar that holds six bottles of wine retails for $149, and larger models are available. The cellars are sold at home stores.

Is it at room temperature? Is it cool enough? End the wine-temperature guessing game with the Eisch Wine Thermometer. Designed to measure the temperature of wine that's already been poured into a carafe, the thermometer adjusts to adapt to varying decanters. The thermometer's semi-circular stainless steel brace fits loosely off the mouth of the carafe, allowing the wine to breathe. Sold at home stores and wine shops, the thermometer retails for $49.99.

More a conversation starter than a necessity, Nambe's Spiral Wine Server and Coaster add flair to the table. The lid of this wine server comes off to reveal a spiral-shaped bucket that can cool white wines and keep reds warm. The lid becomes a coaster on which to rest the bottle. Artistic and modern, the server is made of a reflective metal and must be hand-washed. Retailing for $149.99, the server is sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Looking like a rocket, the Epicurean Preservation System Rechargeable Wine Saver is a lifesaver for half-full wine bottles everywhere. With a rechargeable vacuum seal system, the saver preserves the original taste, color and smell of your leftover wine.

Thanks to a patent-pending vacuum pump and sensor light indicating the optimum vacuum level, the saver seals an open bottle in seconds, keeping it fresh up to 14 days. The Epicurean Preservation System can reseal more than 50 bottles of wine per charge. Included in the set are a vacuum pump, four reusable wine stoppers, a charger base and a 12-volt plug adapter. The saver retails for $79.99 and is sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond and home retail stores.

Staff writer Anna Ferguson is trying to outfit her new but bare kitchen. She can be reached at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308 or at anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com.