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It may sound a trivial topic, but opening a bottle of wine can be far from so! Plus, with the fairly recent emergence of crown caps wine bottles, some may be pondering if they have even bought a wine…
It is also worth us pointing out that there is now little evidence that any one type of closure can lay claim to providing a superior quality of wine, so try to avoid this influencing your purchase decisions or preconceived notions of how a wine might taste based on this.
Nowadays, there are commonly four types of bottle seal: cork, screw cap, champagne cork and crown cap. Before we delve into how to open a wine bottle, make sure you have a solid bit of kit to facilitate the operation, as it can make life so much easier. A waiter’s friend (the proof is in the name…) would be our choice utensil and covers all bases. So, without further ado, lets pop some bottles.
The age-old classic – the cork. First, cut the foil away from the neck of the bottle using the knife on your corkscrew. Plonk the bottle on a flat surface and insert the corkscrew as close to the centre of the cork as possible, trying to avoid entering the cork at an angle. Then start to gently twist the corkscrew into the cork into all the screws are in the cork.
Next, rest the lever arm on the lip of the bottle, and hold this in place with one hand. With your other hand, pull the main part of the corkscrew upwards. When halfway through, use the second notch on your corkscrew to pop the little fella open, ensuring a slow movement throughout. Lastly, enjoy that sweet, sweet grape-y nectar.
No longer synonymous with cheap wine, advancements in technology now means screw caps adorn quality wines the world over. And not only that – but how many times have you been out (especially with park imbibing this past year or so) and been caught out by a pesky cork without the necessary accoutrement to remove the bugger? Screw caps = no bloody problem!
Pretty simple one here when it comes to opening. You guessed it – grip the bottle with one hand and twist the cap off with the other. Bosh.
Last thing you want when celebrating a special occasion with a fancy bottle of sparkling wine is to take out a relative with a flying cork. So, pay special attention here friends!
Remove the foil and loosen (don’t remove) the wire cage (removing can cause the cork to unwelcomely pop off like a drunk uncle at a wedding). Holding the bottle and cork, slowly twist the bottle (not the cork – unless you want aforementioned uncle scenes…), and release the cork slowly, letting out a quiet pssshhhtt sound, akin to a god releasing gas from their behind…
Crown caps (as in the ones you find on beer bottles) are becoming ever more common place in the wine world. This is most often seen with “pet-nat” (pétillant natural) wines – sparkling wines that don’t undergo more traditional methods of production, whereby the supplementary addition of yeast is not removed after the second fermentation has occurred (won’t go into the full process here, but watch this space...).
This process in pet-nat, or lack thereof, means corking with a wire cage atop isn’t required, and we’d argue possibly provides a nicer aesthetic! Plus, it’s more efficient and a more cost-effective method of closure.
Simply grab a beer bottle opener, and whack that cap off.