Every now and then, I like to dig through the Hermes website to find stuff I’ve never noticed before. The site has seemingly endless categories, some of which shuffle their contents quite regularly, and most of them hold something that’s bizarre in one way or another, whether it’s brand new or has been available for years. The Hermes Taillevent Notation Red Wine Rater is part of the latter group.

If it’s not immediately obvious to you how this little thing works, don’t fret – it wasn’t immediately obvious to me either. It looks as though Hermes has been making this little pocket guide for onophiles since approximately 2006 (that’s the first Internet reference I can find, anyway, and on our own PurseForum at that), and it’s meant to help wine connoisseurs choose the best red wine vintages while they’re out and about, dining at restaurants with expensive wine lists or whatever it is that people who really love wine do. (I’m a bourbon girl, myself.)

In a typical French move, the only two regions whose wines are rated on this wheel are the Bordeaux and Burgundy areas of France. You scroll up the year you’re considering, and in the corresponding window appears a rating of the vintage, from 1 to 20, on which to base your purchasing decisions. The engraved metal wheel comes encased in tan Hermes leather and is small enough for a man to carry in his pocket. At a steep $740, though, you might want to first check and see if there’s an iPhone app that performs the same function. Don’t have an iPhone? You could buy one at full retail, plus the app, for less than this cute little gadget. Plus, as far as I know, Hermes has yet to invent a device on which one can play Angry Birds. Buy through Hermes.com for $740.

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