Wine Tools for Sommeliers and Wine Lovers, Designed by Keith Wallace
Custom-designed tools by the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia. These are the wine tools used by our sommelier-instructors. Both beautiful and dependable, these are not mere wine accessories. These are essential wine school supplies. All products are exclusive to the Wine School of Philadelphia. Looking to earn a wine certification? Check out our wine course selection.
Our custom designed wine tools, fashioned for our own sommelier-instructors. We now offer these world-class wine supplies to everyone. Great for gifts for wine lovers, especially someone who dreams of becoming a sommelier. An incredibly popular option for gift giving. Our gift certificates can be used for anything we offer, plus they never expire. The perfect gift for an aspiring sommelier or passionate foodie.
Reinventing the Corkscrew (and other wine tools.)
In the earliest years of the Wine School, our instructors used the same wine tools everyone did. We bought our corkscrews and wine glasses from a wholesale supply warehouse just like all the restaurants do. But we open way more wine bottles than the averate restaurant. Our wine glasses would crack too easily and corkscrews would rust out after a few months.
We needed higher quality equipment, so we started buying from upscale retailers. We found a few brands that were both durable and stylish. The cost was exorbitant, and the day-to-day shrinkage was punching a hole in our operating budget. Someone is going to drop a wine glass. It happens. But it’s painful when they cost over $25 apiece. There were months when we were spending $500 on replacing glassware.
We needed a better solution, and it was up to the school’s founder (Keith Wallace) to fix the mess. In 2003, he started researching how to cut costs but also keep the quality high. At the time, he was working on a wine import project with a chain of wine shops. To keep costs down, they were cutting out several layers of middlemen. He decided he would do something similar. He would go directly to the factory and develop wine tools for the Wine School of Philadelphia.
During the pandemic shutdown in 2020, we suddenly had an over-supply of our tools. For the first time ever, we had an abundance of supply, and we started selling our custom-built wine tools to the public. We also have started packing our tools into a sommelier gift bag for folks who purchase Premium tickets to our wine tasting classes.
our corkscrew has gone through several re-designs over the years. A few key elements have always persisted, though. A teflon worm, which helps in easily pulling out the cork. Having a double-hinged fulcrum is another essential, as it requires less torque to extract the cork: this is especially important on older bottles. An ergonomic handle is also important when you open dozens of bottles a day.
The Wine Glass
At the Wine School, we have a display of our wine glasses in one of our classrooms. Over the years, our glasses have changed dramatically. Back in the day, our glasses were thin and huge. They slowly got smaller and the stem grew longer. The bowl of the glass changed in both diameter and angle.
We’ve been working toward the perfect wine tasting glass. Our fist designs were inspired by luxury brands like Riedel. Over time, we found that there was a huge difference between what we needed and Riedel’s customers. We scrapped our designs and went looking for inspiration.
Back when the Keith was a winemaker, he used a type of small wineglass called the INAO. It was designed by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine and was the standard wine tasting glass for winemakers. It isn’t the best looking for glasses, so we started to create a hybrid wine glass: one that kept some of the charm of the traditional wine glass, but also had the functional practicality of the INAO glass.
Our current wine tasting glass is the final result of that process, and we are very happy with the results!