Balancing Peanuts (October 2016 Wine Product Roundup)

It’s once again time for the monthly wine product roundup here on 1WD, in which I delve into the sample pool of wine-related items that cannot actually be physically absorbed without serious risk of injury or death. Kind of like the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Anyway, this month brings us two totally-unrelated products, both of which I can recommend, but not without caveats (because, hey, that’s just the kind of gal that I am).

image: BalVino Productions

The first item comes to us courtesy of BalVino Productions who, incidentally, are also offering a 10% discount on orders for 1WD readers (if you use the promo code 1WD2016 when ordering before December 31, 2016).  BalVino is a family outfit run by Jeff Burnett in Indiana, who crafts those insert-the-wine-bottle-neck-into-the-hole stands that can then be balanced if set on a flat, level surface.

Despite the too-clever-for-its-own-good company name, I thoroughly admired the quality and craftsmanship that went into the samples of the BalVino ($15.99 – $39.99, depending on the model) sent to me (one of which has a slot with a waiter’s friend corkscrew cleverly attached via magnet inside of it), both of which were hewn out of gorgeous cuts of wood. Personally, these types of balanced holders scare the bejeezus out of me, because I’m constantly worried that I’ll knock them over, but it takes a really good shove to get these things tipping if properly used…

As if the insert-bottle-neck-into-hole thing wasn’t enough of an innuendo, next up comes the ThermoPeanut from SensePeanut, a useful little device that looks suspiciously like a travel-sized marital aid.

Balancing Peanuts (October 2016 Wine Product Roundup)

Totally NOT a marital aid. I swear.

The idea behind the ThermoPeanut ($29.99) is that, with the help of a free iOS or Android mobile app, allow you to monitor the ambient temperature of any surroundings in which you place it, such as a wine cellar. This can be done via the app, or on demand by pressing the concave button on the unit itself. Which will totally NOT vibrate or provide any pleasure stimulus whatsoever; I swear. Alarms can be set to sound when the temperature goes above or below user-defined thresholds. The applications for wine cellar spaces and refrigerated wine storage should be obvious.

Connection between the ThermoPeanut and your device is achieved via Bluetooth, so proximity is a bit of an issue. While the device is stylishly clever, I found myself wondering just how much more convenient this little two-inch by one-inch bugger is over a regular old thermometer. There’s no doubt that it’s handy, of course, but at this price point I’d like to see a few more features available (and no, not those kind of features that you’re thinking about… you sick little love monkey, you…).

Since multiple ThermoPeanuts can be monitored from the same app on one device, the convenience factor ramps up dramatically, I think, for retail shops, on-premise restaurant staff, and very, very wealthy people with cavernous wine cellar spaces.


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