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How to Open a Bottle of Wine

There is a certain etiquette that must be followed when it comes to wine.  From proper storage, to the opening of the bottle, to serving your guests.

Let’s start with how to open a bottle.

Begin by making sure that the label is facing your guests. Then, use your wine knife to extract the foil just below the surface of the lip of the bottle.  This should be a clean cut, not jagged or peeling. You want to extract it below the lip to avoid any dripping once the wine is open.  It is improper to peel the entire foil off of the bottle.

Now, when you expose the worm of the corkscrew, you want to set that worm right in the centre of the cork and begin to twist the worm directly down the centre.  If you twist on an angle, the worm will puncture the side of the cork, leaving little pieces of cork in the wine.

You can finish twisting when you have about one and a half turns left above the cork. ¬†You don’t want to penetrate through the bottom of the cork, this will also result in leaving little pieces in the wine.

In the video, we are using a two stage wine opener, so you can set the first stage, extract the cork a little, and then set the second stage to extract the cork the rest of the way.  The two stage opener is a good choice because it does not apply as much torque on the bottle as a one stage opener.

You should not hear any audible pop when the cork is removed from the bottle.

Once you have the bottle open, present the cork to the guest who ordered it, and pour them a small sample so they can ensure that the wine hasn’t spoiled. ¬†The presentation of the cork is done so the guest can feel it for moisture, to ensure the bottle has been stored properly. ¬†If the cork is dry, then the wine may be spoiled.

Wine bottles should be stored in a cool, dark, dry cellar.  You should also store the wine on its side, so that the wine remains in contact with the cork, keeping the cork moist and plump, therefore not allowing any air to get into the bottle.

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