[What’s to follow is inspired by Steve Heimoff, who’s been having a bit of fiction fun lately.]

How do wine pros make removing the capsule look so darn easy?

It’s so simple.

In fact, it’s really so easy that let’s play pretend for a moment.

You’re Lester, the court jester. King Steven, your king, is trying to impress visiting King Leo. He’s told King Leo that you’re the best at every task he gives you, no matter what the assignment. King Leo wants to prove King Steven wrong, so he calls you over.

[Sorry for putting so much pressure on you in our Make-Believe Land, but this is exactly what everyone feels when trying to impress the boss, if you catch my drift.]

“Lester,” King Leo says to you. “Let’s have you remove the foil from my finest Lafitte that I’ve brought to your king. I want you to remove the foil so that it’s picture perfect.”

You take the bottle from King Leo’s hands. Reaching for your waiter’s cork screw, you bring up your little serrated-edged knife. You notice that it’s a bit broken, and you know that that will slaughter the cut, so you ask Joan, the lady-in-waiting, to bring you a sharp paring knife from the kitchen.

[Sorry chefs, but you all do have knife sharpeners. If anyone’s going to do a perfect job, having the sharpest blade is going to help our jester.]

Joan brings the knife to you.

You solidly grab the neck of the Lafitte bottle in your left hand, right up at the top, leaving just a tiny bit of space.

You notice that there’s a little lip at the edge of the top of the bottle. You realize that if you can just perform a slow and steady slice from where you exactly begin the slice, you’re going to finish at the exact same spot, after a 360 degree turn.

As you’ve taken the bottle in your left hand, you point the bottom toward King Leo, making sure that you’ve got his full attention. Then, you look at where you’re going to begin your incision, and you’re not going to take your eyes off this procedure for one second, because that’s all it will take to fail. You think to yourself, “This must be what it’s like to perform brain surgery.”

[King Leo would love to see you fail, so he can task his own jester to show you up. You know how kings are.]

You take your knife (cork screw for those of you who have a good one), and put your thumb on the edge of the upper lip of the bottle, so that you see the knife at the top, as you look at the full top of the bottle, and the side of your thumb at the bottom of this image.

[Not only does this look like you know what you’re doing, but it also gives you great balance and poise.]

And, like you are paring an apple, or performing the most delicate brain surgery, you put the sharp point to the foil, just on the lip of the bottle neck’s slight indentation.

You s-l-i-c-e, very slowly, very steadily, because nothing else matters. You have to turn the bottle, so you can watch every slice, but you don’t mind. You have a good technique.

You’re watching every sweep around the circumference of that bottle in expert precision. It’s almost like it’s being done in slow motion.

The end result is just perfect.

There is no contest for King Leo’s jester, and after the bottle of Lafitte, King Leo won’t even care anymore; nor will he remember that you had to come out smelling like a rose… Not a rosé.

[Only one bottle of Parducci Petite Sirah was sacrificed… okay, enjoyed… in the creation of this blog posting.]

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