Removing wine corks

Online Catalogue | Using Accessories |  Removing wine corks

How to open a bottle of wine

Cutting the capsule

It has always been customary to cut the capsule below the bottle ring, or even in the middle of the capsule. This was to avoid any contact with the lead or pewter alloy, which could (in theory) give the wine a funny taste. Cutting beneath the bottle ring also hides any ragged edges from the cutting implement. A capsule-cutter can be used if a very neat cut is required.

Nowadays, you can also cut the capsule above the bottle ring. The new plastic or aluminium capsules often have a pull-tab underneath the ring around the neck of the bottle to assist in removing the capsule from your bottle of wine.

Some bottles of wines are also sealed with a small wax-like seal on top of the cork. This helps seal the bottle (a historically traditional meathod) but is arguably there to hide plastic wine bottle corks and add a touch of class to the prsentation. The wax-like seal should be fully removed from the bottle of wine to prevent wine taint.

The wine should not be in contact with any part of the capsule - not only for taste reasons but also for service presentation. Promise me you will never screw the corkscrew straight through the capsule and remove the cork leaving the capsule in place??

Uncorking the wine

Use a wide-spiralled corkscrew that has at least 5 turns. The corkscrew should feature:

- sharp point
- double helix worm
- wide guage to prevent sticking
- grooved worm to aid cork grip

Make sure you screw the corkscrew in deep enough so as not to break the cork when pulling it out. The corkscrew should never go right through the cork.

Old bottles of wine tend to feature shorter corks that may now be dry and brittle. Extra care should be take when opening these bottles of wine. I would recommend something like the double stage pulltap corkscrew which has a coated worm and the 2 stages of the lever allows for gradual vertical lifting of the cork from the bottle.

New wines will feature corks which are often more elastic in nature or even various synthetic corks. Plastic (often called rubber) corks can be very stubborn to remove - not only from the bottle but also removing the cork from the corkscrew afterwards! The pulltap can be used for these wines but I tend to prefer the Boomerang or Orbit corkscrew with it's stronger worm and patent cam lever to impart the maximum leverage in extracting the cork from the wine bottle.

The cork should be removed in a slow yet confident manner and in one clean move wherever possible. Keeping the momentum going will help with stubborn corks and avoid breakages. If the cork is proving particularly stubborn I favour placing the bottle on the floor between my feet. This allows the maximum of force to be pushed down onto your bottle of wine and allow a straight, vertical removal of the cork. This is my preferred method if using a standard "T" bar corkscrew with no levers to place onto the bottle neck.

A good tip is to leave the cork on the corkscrew until after the bottle has been enjoyed. This prevents any change of injury from the sharp corkscrew - especially if children are at the table.

Online Catalogue | Using Accessories |  Removing wine corks

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