Wine Opening 101: Even Without a Corkscrew

wineopener.jpgIt is the nightmare of every wine lover: You’re on a trip, you’ve checked into your hotel room, you remove that special bottle you that you expertly secured in your luggage… and then it hits you.

You left your corkscrew in the kitchen drawer back home.

Yes, you could ask a server at the on-site restaurant if they’d let you borrow theirs, but you’re already in your pajamas and ready to put up your feet with your iPad and a good glass of vino.

What to do?

Well, if your bottle happens to be housing Champagne, you could take out your saber and use it to break the top of the bottle neck, as demonstrated here. It’s a technique called “sabrage.”

But since you have only a 50:50 chance of getting your saber past the TSA, a better method would be to use your one of your shoes. Yes, a shoe.

As demonstrated here, you place the bottom of the bottle inside the shoe, and then whap it against a wall several times. Depending on your strength, it will take anywhere between three and seven or so whaps until the cork is dislodged far enough for it to be removed by less-violent means. Just select a hotel room wall that is least likely to annoy a neighboring guest.

But the best method I’ve found — one that requires neither a sabre nor a shoe — is to use a simple household key.

Select the one on your keychain that has the sharpest tip, and push it into the middle of the cork at a 45-degree angle. You’ve essentially created a mini corkscrew that you can use to twist the cork while simultaneously pulling up on it. (Sound familiar?)

It will take longer to remove the cork using a key than using a corkscrew. Think of it as another life lesson about the importance of patience.

Only this lesson comes with a delicious reward.

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Posted in Wine FAQ
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