Oh, wine, sweet nectar of the gods. I open my $2.99 bottle of Trader Joe's red, have a glass with dinner, and two days later discover that all the tasty goodness has disappeared, the victim of oxidation. Why must the world be so cruel?
The maker of the Wine Balloon says it can delay the inevitable with an invention that looks like a cross between a Whoopee cushion and a hand pump oxygen mask. I know that sounds suspect, but it's a much more elegant solution than that description might lead you to believe.
The Wine Balloon launched late last year, but its coming-out party happened at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago last month.
It joins a crowded field of devices designed to prolong the life of our beloved grape-based beverages. There are plenty of, pump stoppers, and argon cartridges already on the market. The Wine Balloon's appeal is in its simplicity.
For $22, you get a small hand pump in the shape of a bunch of grapes with a tube leading down to a rubber balloon. Drop the balloon into the partially imbibed bottle and pump it up to seal the precious liquid away from the meddlesome air. The company says the rubber will not affect the wine's taste.
Even with the use of the Wine Balloon, the maker still suggests drinking the wine during its peak within three to five days. If it takes you longer than that, you need more friends. Also, you might find more people willing to drink with you if you lay off using terms like "plump cedar" and "corpulent tobacco" to describe the wine. (Thank you to the Silly Tasting Notes Generator for the wine terms.)