FrontRunners: Corkscrews & Champagne

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Without doubt, the warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is ugly. Its tusks, which typically reach about 7 inches, do nothing to enhance its appearance, but they can be quite useful when the animal is facing a combatant. In settings more refined than the creature’s native African savanna, the tusks provide a prized material for knife handles, egg holders, and even necklaces. (Note: The warthog is not endangered.) The tusks also make fine handles for corkscrews, including the one pictured here, designed by Gershon Jewelers ( of Greenvale, N.Y. Gershon’s version features an end cap in sterling silver or 14-karat gold; the silver-capped version sells for $225, the gold for about $450. . . . You do not need a corkscrew for Champagne, but temperature control is certainly in order. Temperature fluctuations can wreak havoc on Champagne: As the liquid expands and contracts, the cork can loosen enough to expose it to oxygen, causing the bubbles to dissipate. Most refrigerated wine cellars accommodate only standard-size wine bottles, but the stainless steel Marvel Champagne Cellar ( is designed specifically for Champagne bottles. The appliance, which measures about 34 inches tall and 15 inches wide, will maintain a steady temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal storage temperature for Champagne. The $2,100 unit can hold as many as 18 bottles on its six glide-out racks. . . .

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