Unless you are under 21 years old, have never worked in food services, don't drink, AND have no family members or friends who drink, you have no excuse for not knowing how to properly open a bottle of wine. Yet, all the time, I watch otherwise-sophisticated people struggle and flail around with a bottle, straining like they are attempting to pull Excalibur from the stone, ultimately spilling on themselves or leaving little pieces of cork floating in the wine in the process. If this sounds like you, and you wonder what others think of you during this process, let me answer that for you: We are silently judging you, and thinking that next time we will bring beer, instead. Let's get your technique straightened out, shall we? Once you master these simple strategies, you'll find opening a bottle of wine can be almost as pleasurable as drinking one.
1. Get a decent corkscrew. There are thousands on the market, but I favor the manual kind waiters use (see pic)- they are easy to use and work well, but don't completely remove you from the process. Ours is this one (a little pricey- it was a wedding gift). Don't totally cheap out- you get what you pay for with corkscrews, as with everything else in life, but you can get great ones at any cooking store in the $30-40 range.
2. Use the blade on the side of the wine key to cut the foil from the top. Usually there is a rim on the neck of the bottle- just place the blade right above that, and twist your hand and the bottle, using your thumb for pressure. Pull the little foil cap off.
3. Insert the screw into the cork by twisting it in, while very gently pushing down (don't push too hard or you'll push the cork into the bottle). The key here is to try to make sure you center the screw above the cork before inserting it, and that you screw straight down, not at a wonky angle.
4. When the screw is completely inserted into the cork, tilt the wine key up and place the metal lever on the lip of the bottle. If this is difficult, try unscrewing the corkscrew one turn.
6 hours ago