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Gadgets

Breaking the chains that bind

This wine bottle holder appears to suspend your bottle in mid-air.

Even when you're sober, it's amazing. Amazon.com

A large part of the fun of hosting a holiday meal is showing your family and friends that you can bring it to the table with the best of them. I spend a somewhat ridiculous amount of time planning menus, creating elegant and impressive dishes, and imagining how impressed everyone will be. Because that's really the true meaning of the holiday: showing your brother-in-law that you're a better cook than he is.

Of course, presentation is half the battle--the table has to look as good as the food does, right? And I'm not above resorting to flat-out gimmicks to make sure my table looks stunning.

The gravity-defying chain wine bottle holder will certainly make your guests take notice. It's an eye-catching piece that will draw people to the table and have them in awe before you even serve the first course.

Despite the amazing illusion, it's not magic, of course--although it looks like the chain is draped around the bottle, it's really all just simple physics. (So says the writer who never took a day of physics in her life.) The bottle provides the necessary counterweight to balance the display. When there's no wine bottle in place, the chain will lie flat. So, bottoms up--but from a different bottle.