Saturday, March 26, 2005

How Not To Open A Bottle of Wine

I thought we didn't need to go over this, but I guess there are some basic wine drinking skills that need to be reviewed in light of the new technology. We had covered proper serving temperatures and decanting, and a little bit on storage, but it seems we need to discuss the topic of opening up the new screw caps in light of some unfortunate stories, all true I am told. I know, as a certain in-law confessed to his recent confusion on opening a screw cap, but he is 85 and can be forgiven. The other story I heard from a reputable wine rep.

  • Don't try to open the screw cap with a wine opener by driving the sharp screw of the opener through the metal cap and then leveraging the top off. You will end up with a jagged mess that may cause more harm than good.
  • Also, don't try to use a "foil" cutter to cut off the top of the "capsule" to get at the "cork", and then take the wine bottle to the store and complain that there was no cork in the bottle. You will be wasting about 5 to 10 minutes cutting through the metal cap, you will probably be ruining a perfectly good foil cutter, and I will guarantee you that the clerks at your favorite wine store will be smirking everytime you go back to buy some wine.
  • The proper way, or if you want to impress your date, is to rotate the lower section of the screw cap enclosure in the opposite direction to break the seal (in a flourish similar to the preparation of opening a Champagne bottle), and then roll the top off the bottle by rolling it down your sleeve. The cap will fall into your hand to be whisked away. Do not present it to the host. Be sure to practice this a few times before going public!


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