Drink Like a Sommelier With Helen Johannesen’s Top Wine Accessories

Drink Like a Sommelier With Helen Johannesen’s Top Wine Accessories

By Duncan Nielsen
Helen Johannesen has a “Best New Somm” title from Food & Wine, and she's ushering in a new era for the industry. Read on for her must-have wine accessories.

Los Angeles' Helen Johannesen is a wine rock star. Her refreshing take on a male-dominated industry rife with elitism and a snobby, codified lexicon has made drinking wine fun again. As longtime beverage director and partner of the Jon & Vinny’s restaurant family, owner and curator of her own wine shop on Fairfax avenue, and the effervescent personality behind an all-things-wine-but-mostly-natural-wine podcast, Johannesen tastes a lot of wine. 

In her eponymous gem box retail shop Helen's Wines, you'll find a thoughtfully curated selection from small-production vineyards focused on integrity and low-intervention élevage—the progression of the wine from fermentation to bottling. 

Wine words, like élevage, are aptly explained in Johannesen's vibey, conversational podcast Wine Face—after one episode, you'll want to invite her over for a meal (and a bottle or two).

So what does this new-age sommelier use to drink up? Below are her top picks to keep the wine flowing at home and on the go. 

Gabriel-Glas Mouth-Blown Wine Glass - Set of 2
Why bother with a different glass for different varietals when the "One for All" Gabriel-Glas is designed for every style of wine? Such is the contention of the renowned Swiss wine critic René Gabriel, the creative genius behind the Austrian-made Gabriel-Glas.

"These Austrian wine glasses are some of the classiest but most approachable glasses on the market. Mouth-blown glass? YES PLEASE! It takes the wine to the next level!"

Corkcicle Canteen
Don't ditch the wine on your next picnic or relaxing beach day. The Corkcicle Classic 25 Ounce Canteen in Rose Quartz will easily fit an entire bottle of wine.

"We've all been there: You want to beach hang with your favorite bottle of rose, but the ice keeps melting, the wine gets hot...problem solved! Cool your wine down before departing, pour into the Corkcicle, and you are set with icy wine on the beach."

Viski Signature Gold-Plated Corkscrew
Designed to exemplify top-shelf quality, the Viski Signature Corkscrew epitomizes the Viski brand. This wine key features a Double-Hinged arm, five-turn worm and handle-integrated foil cutter - all plated in bona-fide 24-karat gold.

"This is our signature wine key at Helen's Wines. It's sturdy, chic and fabulous. We also sell them engraved on our site."

Riedel Vinum Water Glass
The established machine-made water glass of the contemporary glass collection Vinum perfectly presents your water by simple elegance everyday. The classic shape and short stem give the glass a graceful silhouette. Ideal as a companion to a glass of wine on a noble table.

"I love to use this glass for serving wine at a garden party. It's not technically a wine glass, but its high walls allow it to be the perfect low-key grass-loving wine glass."

Riedel Decanter Merlot
The machine-made decanter distinguishes by an elegant and complex design. Riedel whole-heartedly believes all wines - young and old, red, white or sparkling - can be enhanced by decanting. Riedel tip: use bottle cleaners to remove stains inside the decanter.

"If I need a decanter, I like to keep it simple with this beauty. No need for a crazy octo-phallic decanter over here."

Kitchen Craft Wine Bottle Carrier
This vintage style bottle carrier is perfect for carrying and storing, milk, juice and wine bottles in truly classical fashion.

"The perfect basket for transporting wine to a friend's house, to the beach, to the backyard, from the wine cellar to the dining room table, or to collect the empty bottles at the end of the night!"

Wine Enthusiast 80-Bottle Refrigerator
Whether you’re looking for a starter cellar or really dependable storage, our classic black is the economical solution! The 80 bottle single zone, free standing cabinet is highly effective, protecting your investments with high quality wine storage technology.

"Keeping wine at the right temperature is so important! Investing in proper storage is key!"

Smeg Mini Refrigerator
Sure to be a statement piece, the Smeg 1.5 Cu. Ft. Retro Mini Refrigerator adds sharp style to your kitchen. This retro refrigerator will be the new focal point of your kitchen with its high end, stylish design.

"If you have a bar area in your home, in addition to a wine fridge (or in lieu of if you only have a few bottles on hand), this mini fridge is chic and functional. Perfect for some Topo Chico, lemons, limes, a few bottles of wine, some beer, and maybe olives for snacks."

"I love putting out self-service wine bars at my house—it allows guests to control their own destiny throughout the night. A bucket like this is a statement piece and also allows for three to five bottles to be kept on ice at the same time."

YETI Tundra Wheeled Cooler
The first-ever YETI cooler on wheels is the answer to taking Tundra's legendary toughness and unmatched insulation power the extra mile. And nothing was sacrificed in the making of this cold-holding powerhouse, ensuring the Haul lives up to the Tundra name.

"Keeping the wine bar mobile is perfect for park barbecues. Yetis are reliable and keep the vino icy icy cold for a hot hot barbecue day!"

Follow Helen Johannesen on Instagram and subscribe to her podcast here.

Related Reading: 10 West Coast Wineries With Architecture as Noteworthy as the Wines They Produce 


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