Sunset's 2010 Western Wine Awards

After this year’s grand taste-off, 40 bottles rose to the top. Plus we found the people and places that are changing what we’re drinking

2010's top wine trends

The people and places that are changing the wine scene in the West

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wine spout
Photo by Jeffery Cross

Trend: Best wine gadgets

J. Bookwalter Winery and Wine Lounge in Richland, Washington, is a hub for great wine, cheese, charcuterie, and live music. Since owner and winemaker John Bookwalter opens thousands of bottles a year, we turned to him for the best tools for pouring and storing.

You can minimize drips by twisting the bottle as you finish pouring. But you can avoid them altogether with a thin Mylar disk that rolls up into the neck of the bottle for a clean finish. DropStop pour spout, $5.99/pair; amazon.com

Spray Private Preserve into open bottles, then recork them. A wine-friendly inert gas replaces oxidizing oxygen, and stoppering the bottles keeps more air from getting in. $12 for a 120-use bottle; wineenthusiast.com

Freebie advice: Bookwalter recommends storing bottles cool or cold—reds at 54°, whites in the fridge.

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