At first glance you might think that’s a speed gun in the above picture, but it’s not. It’s an infrared thermometer with a laser pointer.
Inspired by Dr. Debs’ December 2006 post in her Good Wine Under $20 blog about neat wine gifts, I had been mulling over her suggestion of an infrared wine thermometer. The one she mentioned is carried by International Wine Accessories; you simply touch the end of this compact gadget against a bottle of wine (or anything, for that matter) and it digitally registers the surface temperature. Then you would know for sure if your wine was at the proper serving temperature.
Pretty neat, I thought. Of course I had to conduct a search to see if I could find it at a lower price, but no luck. As I was browsing around on Amazon.com, I did run across various other infrared thermometers, though. While the ones I found were more expensive, I did note a couple of things: (1) They were of the non-contact variety, that is, they measured the temperature via laser; and (2) they measured a wider range of temperatures.
I confirmed with Dr. Debs, who had purchased the IWA version, that hers required surface contact. I decided to opt for the non-contact one, though, which can be found here. I thought this might be more useful since it has a wider range of applications.
On the other hand, Dr. Debs can very easily take her gadget to any restaurant and surreptitiously measure the temperature of her wine. Me, I would cause much consternation lugging my speed gun into a restaurant and pointing it at a glass of wine. However, I could also measure the temperature of wines at other people’s tables without getting up. “Excuse me, did you know that glass of white wine is really too cold to drink yet?”
Or, I could let people think it was a speed gun – point it at a waiter: “Hey! Speed it up buddy, you’re walking too slow!”
I can imagine – once sommeliers get hold of these things, they can point it at the bottle of wine they bring out, then show the guest that the bottle is at the proper serving temperature. This ritual just might replace presenting the cork!