For the past five years, I’ve channeled my inner Oprah and hosted a “Favorite Things” party around the holidays. Guests think of an item they love, priced at $10 or less, and bring three of that same item, unwrapped (although cute bows are always a plus). After eating our fill of homemade Christmas cookies, we cram into my living room and take turns explaining why we love the thing we brought. Names go into a hat and one-by-one, we choose from the array of goodies. By the end of the night, each person leaves with three different items that are sure to become a new favorite thing.
Through this process, I’ve been introduced to a detergent that makes you actually look forward to doing laundry, found a new go-to lip stain and been gifted a page-turner that made for the perfect fireside read. Not surprisingly, wine often makes the collective list of “favorite things,” but it wasn’t until last year that I was introduced to the life-changing Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump.
Technically, it’s science that makes the Vacu Vin so effective, but the way my friend explained it, you’d think it was magic. Here’s how it works: You place a special stopper that comes with the set into the bottleneck and use the pump to draw the air out of the bottle. You’ll start to feel resistance and then hear a click, indicating that the process is complete. By preventing oxidation, your bottle of vino should stay fresh for up to two weeks (that is, if you don’t drink it before then).
There are pricier versions on the market, including one that uses a needle to drill a tiny hole into the cork, but the $12 Vacu Vin works just fine for my Trader Joe’s two-buck chuck. Since receiving mine as a gift, I’ve paid it forward, ordering multiple for friends and family. After all, the perfect gift is one that keeps on giving.