It’s one of the toughest tests of early adulthood, opening a bottle of wine.
The youth of today have become so accustomed to easy access everything that the simple task of getting a cork out of a wine bottle can seem like an ascent of Everest. It really is one of those things can stump you, when it really shouldn’t be.
It’s like that moment at the park when some kids soccer ball bounces into your path. The whole world stands still as everyone in attendance holds their breath and waits for you to try and return the ball. Succeed in this simple task, and the whole world smiles with you, but if you fail, the whole world laughs at you and your pathetic little attempt. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.
It’s much the same with opening that bottle of wine at your first grown up ‘dinner party’. After selecting your wine from a place like Food & Wine, you’re standing like a deer in the headlights, unopened bottle of wine in one hand and the butterfly shaped metal thing in the other. Now is your time to shine.
How To Do It
Assuming you’re tackling this monster with a traditional butterfly winged corkscrew, like those at Pop A Cork, here’s exactly how to do it. If at any point this gets too much for you, head on over to Wine Mag for a complete beginners guide.
First you need to apply a little force to get the pointy end into the top of the cork. Then simply twist the top handle and apply pressure from above. Make sure you’re headed downwards fairly straightly so that you don’t end up cutting the cork in half.
As you screw further down, as if by magic, those symmetrical wings will lift like ballerina’s legs. Keep going until they’re pretty much vertical and the screw has disappeared inside the cork.
The last part is where you get to claim all the glory. Make sure everyone watches as you carefully press the wings back down and watch as this simultaneously causes the cork to be released from its wedged position in the neck of the bottle.
Moment of Magic
It’s like a moment of magic. If all has gone to plan, you will have popped your wine bottle cherry in some fashion, and the drink can start flowing. If you’ve messed up, you’ll either have to drink chewy, little pieces of cork for the evening, or change your wine soaked shirt. Either way, it’ll take some coming back from a disaster like that.
Next time, invest in an electric opener from one of those reviewed at The Spruce Eats.