Revisiting “Removing the Cork 101” ~ It’s not brain surgery

Just can’t get enough of this one, as I watch people struggle all the time, including nervous wait servers.

Originally posted on January 16, 2006… Here it is again.

Why is pulling out a cork so darn intimidating?

Because very few of us in our American culture were raised on wine, so we don’t know how darned easy it is.

As we’re on stage when it’s our turn to remove the cork, our palms begin to sweat as we begin to insert the cork screw’s sharp, little point. Moisture begins to gather around our hair line, as we turn the cork screw in a clockwise motion. Then, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen next. Will we get it out, as the cork screw descends further into the bottle? Again, it’s anyone’s guess…

Well, that used to be the case for me. Once I began to work in winery tasting rooms, and that cork had to come out (because people were standing before me eager to taste the wine I was about to pour), I learned how to do it so quickly and smoothly that I surprised even myself.

Here’s how you, too, can look like you’ve opened enough corks to fill that wine barrel table you’ve created that’s full of corks, and has a glass top covering your masterpiece, so everyone can gather round and ogle at what you’ve done.

1. Securely grab your cork screw in one hand and your bottle of wine in the other.

2. Use absolute straight down aiming at that tiny cork (you’re so much bigger than that cork, so you’ve got to win this battle, and you will).

3. In the absolute dead center of the cork, insert the cork screw tip in a straight downward motion. (Don’t angle this procedure, as that’s the REAL trick in all of this… straight down.)

4. As the cork screw enters the cork, use a bit of pressure to make sure that the cork screw and cork are united in harmony.

5. Without any angling of what you’re doing, begin to twist the cork screw while simultaneously pressing downward, until all the “screw” part of it is inserted into the cork.

6. With a smooth, gentle force (you don’t want any splashing onto what you’re wearing), pull the cork straight out of the bottle. It’s all in the wrist pulling in an upward motion, too.

This is guaranteed to make you look like a pro, and have all the sweating never bead up on your forehead, again. (Three) Cheers!

And, welcome to Removing the Cork 102, where many producers are switching to screw caps!

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2 Responses to “Revisiting “Removing the Cork 101” ~ It’s not brain surgery”

  1. Vinogirl says:

    Anything done with an audience is sure to make you nervous, unless you are an exhibitionist of course. I swear by Pulltaps corkscrews, they make it all so easy and I have never had one fail.

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    You’re right about his being really nervous. I had just brought a writer to his house, and he was literally “on stage” opening a bottle of his wine. It made him so nervous that he almost had a mental breakdown trying to remove the cork.

    I was really feeling for him, until he said – I think trying to deflect attention from how clumsy he was at the time – “If I have a publicist who becomes part of a story, that would just upset me.”

    I thought, “What? Am I not standing right here in the room with you?” Did I not just house this writer in my home for the weekend, so I could bring him to you, specifically. (Honestly, I loved having him in my home during that time, too, because we’ve been pals for a long time.) But, with that simple statement, that’s when I lost caring about his inability to remove the cork from that bottle…

    Too funny!

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