From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomic Holiday Shopping for Wine lovers

‘Tis the season to think of ergonomic gifts. Wine lovers on the list will appreciate one of the many wine accoutrements with ergonomic credentials on the market. Warning: the duck-shaped one will be hard to wrap.

Austrian glassmaker Reidel markets wine tumblers – glasses sans stems. According to the maker, stemless glasses are less delicate to handle, more modern in appearance and fit more easily in smaller cabinets, mini bars, picnic baskets and the dishwasher. And a tipped Reidel glass will actually balance itself without spilling any wine.

Each 2-glass set in the series is designed to enhance the flavors and aromas of a particular grape varietal. The Vinum set is specifically recommended for “young, full-bodied red wines with high tannin and extract, such as Cabernet or Merlot,” according to the catalog.

The Reidel O ‘Thumbs Up’ Decanter features a deep punt for the thumb that allows other fingers to cradle the base for a secure pour. And the elliptical mouth is drip-free.

Reidel’s Duck Decanter is also drip-free. It’s designed for sommeliers, but offers superior pouring qualities for anyone who hates wasting a precious drop of their wine. The bonus? The duck shape is said to help a young wine “bloom,” and the sloped shape keeps sediment from older wines in the decanter and out of the glass.

Several other glassmakers produce duck shaped decanters with the same ergonomic benefits.

The selection of ergonomically-designed corkscrews and cork pullers is almost infinite, and they are all designed to ease the effort of extracting the cork.

One push down, then up on the engineer-designed Wine Master Corkscrew and the cork pops. The pocket-sized Puigpull, modeled after a car jack, relies on a ratchet system to make extraction easy. The Grenouille Ergonomic Corkscrew touts a curved design, tapered handle and soft thumb rest on top, adding a layer of shock absorption to repeated bottle opening. The Rabbit Corkscrew not only resembles its namesake, but its manufacturer promises it will pull out a cork in three second flat with little effort. Air injector corkscrews use a pump and needle system that allow the bartender to fill the bottle with air and force the cork out. The host of automatic corkscrews rely on the strength of batteries and a push-button system to extract the cork, and make the process even easier.

Chances are, a wine lover will have one of each of these, but may not have a Canape Caddy. Sold on line at, it’s a tray and with a cut-out place for a drink. The maker describes it as “a unique solution to an age old problem of how to handle both stemware and a plate of hors ‘doeuvres, while keeping one hand free to steal from someone else’s plate.”

Sources: Reidel, Ergonomics Today; WebbsWood

Editor’s Note: Ergonomists continue to lend their expertise to the business of improving wine production and the myriad accessories that enhance the experience of drinking it. The December 14 issue of The Ergonomics Report