Wine FunnelsIt's none other than a wine funnel actually. Wine funnels were said to have first been around in the United Kingdom in the late 1800s then declined rapidly in the early 20th century. Most likely it was the popularity of the Martini drink that contributed largely to the decline. The first model during that time was usually a larger bowl with multiple holes and possibly a smaller dish or container with finer holes for strain pouring the wine into. They were most often used as a way to strain out the white or clear portions of the wine before serving. A more elaborate version of the wine funnels would actually have a collapsible body. It contained two cylindrical holes positioned vertically down its length. One hole would be large enough for the wine to flow through while the smaller hole could be used for siphoning the solvent through. Both holes would then be capped off with a small ball or other shaped object so that they could be held securely in place once filled with the solution. As decanters and taste pots became more popular, these devices were left behind and eventually evolved into the modern wine funnel. Decanters, which contained a thin wooden handle for pouring the liquid into the decanter, were replaced with mechanical screw pumps which could be powered by an electrical outlet. This meant that the liquids could be poured directly into the decanter with less effort than before. Mechanical screw pumps are still commonly used by some high-end restaurants and wineries. Modern screw pumps are quite simple devices. They contain two hollow tubes filled with water. The inner tube contains a motor that rotates, drawing in the wine to be poured. This is done by moving the motor through a series of holes along the outer diameter of the outer tube. A thin flexible hose attached to the motor allows the wine to be drawn into the decanter. Because screw pumps tend to work at low speeds, they require almost no sediments. Also, because there are no suction cups, the liquids can be drawn into the funnel without having to waste any of the sediments. Most modern wine funnels have sediments collection bottoms. These are special bottoms which are designed to catch any sediments that may fall out of the bottle while it is being poured. This gives the final taste of the beverage a richer taste, without any sediments. For people who want to add an element of interest to their wines, a shower or racking set may be the answer. With either of these, the siphoned liquid is directed into a separate container which has a drain line. The purpose of this is two fold. First, it allows the container to maintain its shape as it is being filled with the liquid, and this makes it easier to pour. Secondly, it allows the user to aerate the wine. Wine aeration is accomplished by pouring the liquid over the aerated surface of the container which, in turn, causes bubbles to form. The most common use of wine funnels is to remove the sediments from a white wine. This is because all white wines contain a significant amount of tannin, which has the effect of stripping the wine flavor from the grapes. This process is called roasting, and most people will think that a strainer is used when the wine is being prepared for drinking. However, the process of roasting the wine itself is just the opposite: it allows the flavor to seep into the wine and give it a richer taste. Other uses of wine funnels include cleaning old bottles or collecting "dirty glasses". Unlike traditional wire pitchers, which allow you to pour your drink directly into the bottle, the aeration unit allows the liquid to be pushed around and aerated in a circular pattern, which helps loosen and collect sediments. They can also be used to serve wine in, as in a stemware holder. Some wine enthusiasts prefer the silver wine funnels because they are aesthetically appealing, and since the holes are small, it does not take up a lot of counter space. If you are someone who likes to collect wine as a hobby, or even for drinking on your own, then these handy tools are a must have.