Product Type: Le Creuset Kitchenware
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No Screwpulls at Recommending This!
Le Creuset Screwpull Wine Cooler
Member Name: collingwood21
Le Creuset Screwpull Wine Cooler
Advantages: Good value, Effective, Easy to store when not in use, Five year guarantee
Disadvantages: You might not like chilled wine?
(a) Order your wine from the hotel? This will address the "cold" part of your requirements and will be served to your room, but will set you back about the same amount of money that you spent on the room itself.
(b) Take a bottle of wine in with you? You have a good half-price bottle of fizz picked up in a recent supermarket promotion, but there will be some hours between removing the bottle from your fridge at home and serving it in the hotel room - and you know the hotel does not provide fridges in the rooms because you have stayed there before.
So which is it to be? Affordable warm wine or perfectly chilled but outrageously expensive wine?
Well, fortunately there is secret option number three - go online and find a method of keeping your wine cool between home and hotel.
=== The Solution ===
Searching online for "wine cooler" will reveal about 8.3 million hits, although in all fairness most of these seem to be wine-orientated mini-fridges, which are not all that useful when one is trying to slip a bottle of wine into a fancy hotel without the staff noticing. Something inexpensive, effective and, above all, portable was required.
The option I chose after some deliberation was the Screwpull wine cooler sleeve. The Screwpull brand is part of Le Creuset, which I took to imply good quality and (hopefully) effectiveness. It was also surprisingly affordable for an item from their range - I paid just £7.88 for my wine cooler sleeve when I bought it from Amazon at the start of March this year, although I now see that it has gone up to £10, the price you pay when ordering direct from the manufacturer.
The Screwpull wine cooler is a wonderfully simply little product. Made out of a soft, padded material that feels like neoprene to the touch, it comes flat-packed in a range of colours along with a wine temperature serving guide (which seemed a little redundant to me as there was nothing on the sleeve to indicate the temperature either of it or the bottle it was chilling). You simply store the sleeve in the freezer, and when you are ready to use it just pull it over the top of your wine bottle so it fits tightly like a sleeve from the base of the bottle to about halfway up the neck. The cooler is designed to fit standard size 75cl wine and champagne bottles, and has stretchy material built into the sides of the sleeve to allow for some flexibility in size and a snug fit - a tapered neck to the sleeve is provided for maximum contact area and therefore maximum chilling to your wine. I was worried that freezing the sleeve would make it stiff and therefore hard to fit onto the bottle, but it stayed remarkably soft and pliable even straight out of the freezer, and I had no problems at all in getting it on the bottle.
===Cool, Cool Wine ===
The big test for the Screwpull cooler was how well it would perform at keeping our chilled wine cool on the day of our anniversary. The chilled wine was taken from the fridge and placed in the frozen cooler around noon; from there it had about an hour in the boot of our car, and then spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in a corner of the hotel room far away from direct sunlight or the radiator. We eventually opened the bottle around 8pm, and were quite impressed to find that it was still cool to the touch. The wine wasn't that perfectly-chilled-straight-from-the-fridge-cool, but neither was it room temperature either; it tasted lightly chilled and impressively good given that it had spent a full 8 hours sitting around waiting for us.
Since our anniversary, the cooler has found other uses: in keeping wine cool on the table during warm evenings, and in helping to rapidly cool room temperature wine down when we had forgotten to put it in the fridge in advance of a meal. Le Creuset do claim on their website that it will cool a bottle of wine in just 10 minutes, but this is a little optimistic; in my experience a standard 75cl bottle needs about 20 minutes in the cooler to bring it down from room temperature to being chilled enough to drink. I am also hoping to have the opportunity this summer to use my cooler at picnics and barbeques.
=== The Bottom Line ===
So am I glad I bought the Screwpull cooler? Absolutely. It is easy to use and store, is remarkably effective at keeping wine bottle cool over a long time, and even manages to look pretty good too. It comes with a five year guarantee, and for the price I paid for it represents excellent value - even at the inflated price it now sells for, it is a very useful item to have if you enjoy a nice, cold bottle of wine on a regular basis.
Summary: A great wine cooler from the Screwpull range
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