Wine Thief

March 18, 2010

No, I am not going to talk about a person who steals wine today. I am going to talk about a device that winemakers uses pull a sample out of their vats and barrels called a wine thief.

A wine thief is a glass tube with two open ends. As a child, did you ever suck pop up a straw and then replace your finger over the top and then pull the straw out? The pop was trapped in straw. Well, a wine thief works in the same way. The thief is put into the wine, allowed to fill from one end to the level of the wine it is in, and then a finger is used to plug the other end. The wine thief can then be removed and aimed at a container. The moment you remove your finger, the wine pours out.

Wine thiefs are very handy at getting a sample from the middle of the wine batch for testing with a hydrometer or for tasting, and are easier to use than hooking up a siphon. They come in many different sizes, so they can range from $8 to $30.

However, it is possible to buy a turkey baster and use it to pull samples as long as that is the only thing you use it on. Do not use it on meat and then on wine again!

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One Response to “Wine Thief”


  1. […] I have found that a turkey baser works quite well as a wine thief. It is faster than a glass wine thief, and cheaper to buy. However, if you decide to use a turkey […]


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