Learn how to uncork wine properly, either with or without a corkscrew.
While you will find that the majority of bottled wines these days are sold with screw top lids, more expensive wines still have a cork. Learning how to uncork wine properly will ensure that you do not end up with pieces of cork in your wine.
If you have a wing-style corkscrew at home, opening your wine is easy!
Simply score the cork’s foil under the lip with a sharp knife and peel it away. Do this carefully and take your time, as it is easy for your hand to slip.
Next, position the tip of the corkscrew on the center of the cork and press down slightly so it pierces the top of the cork. Be sure the wings of the corkscrew are lowered and then begin to twist the handle of the corkscrew clockwise while holding the corkscrew in place at the base.
With each twist, the wings of the corkscrew will extend upwards and outwards; continue twisting until the wings are fully extended. Using two hands, push down on the wings to help pop the cork out of the bottle.
How to uncork wine with a sommelier knife or waiter's corkscrew
If you have a sommelier knife (also known as a wine key or waiter’s corkscrew), unfold the knife, score the cork’s foil under the lip and remove it.
Fold the knife back down and unfold the corkscrew; position the corkscrew on the center of the cork and press it down to pierce the top of the cork.
Twist the corkscrew clockwise until one of the spirals on the corkscrew is visible. You won’t want to twist too far, otherwise it may puncture the other end of the cork, leaving bits in your wine.
Finally, position the lever arm so that its hinge is over the lip of the bottle and use your hand to pull the corkscrew up, which should bring the cork along with it. If the cork won’t move, twist the corkscrew a little more and attempt to remove it then.
How to uncork wine with no corkscrew at all!
Nothing is worse than getting ready to open a bottle of wine and realizing you don't have a corkscrew.
Fortunately, there is a cool trick you can use to get that bottle opened!
Simply find a long screw and screw it into the cork with a screwdriver; don’t screw it in completely but leave about an inch or so of the screw showing at the top. Place the screw in between the rungs on the backside of a hammer and pull up, removing the cork.
When to uncork your wine
There are ideal times at which you should uncork your wine to allow it sufficient time to breath and help the notes of the wine develop.
Open red wines about two hours prior to serving and open full bodied white wines like Chardonnay an hour before serving.
Light wines like Sauvignon Blanc are best opened about 20 minutes prior to serving.
You should always reseal your wine to prolong its life, either by using the cork or a rubber stopper.
Cooking with wine
Ever tried cooking with wine? It adds some great depth of flavor to your recipes. Here are a few ideas to try.
Mulled Wine Cake