You know that moment when you’re with friends and you’re about to open the bottle of wine your bestie brought and you get the corkscrew in and it gets stuck? And then the dilemma of whether to keep going or remove the corkscrew and try again, and everyone’s sitting there waiting for you to pour, and the panic sets in.
It’s okay, take a deep breath, here’s our easy guide to opening a bottle of wine, including the bubbly ones!
Step 1: If it’s not a twist-off (no shame) use the little sharp part of your bottle opener – it’s called a wine key – to safely remove the foil from around the bottleneck. Sommeliers like to cut it from the bottom lip of the top to reduce any spillage when pouring but you can also cut it from the top lip which is more aesthetically pleasing.
Step 2: Position the pointy part at the end of the corkscrew just slightly off-center. This way, when you start turning, the screw is going straight down as it turns. If you started at the center, the turning would actually cause it to go a little wonky and could risk breaking the cork.
Step 3: When the screw has gone all the way through the cork, set the top indentation of the lever of the opener on the lip of the bottle and wrap your hand around it and the bottle itself. Use your other hand to gently pull up on the open arm of the corkscrew to start removing the cork. Then reset the indentation of the lever and repeat the process.
Step 4: Remove the cork, unscrew the opener from it, and check the cork to make sure it didn’t break. If you see pieces are missing, try to look into the bottle to see if they’re in the wine itself. If they are, you can strain the wine into a decanter to avoid getting any cork while pouring into glasses.
Now if the bottle is bubbly, you’ll want to take a couple of extra precautions but the process is actually simpler.
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