Discover The Right Tools And Uncork Wine Like A Pro
Have you ever wondered about all those different types of wine bottle tools you see in the store or online? Here are some conversation facts for you and ideas for stocking stuffer gifts.
To begin with, I must confess we have a few of the same things at home, and they are stashed all over the place. We bought some, our friends gave us some, and some we bought because of a place or event we were at as souvenirs; you get my drift. So, I'll share photos of our stash as we lightly discuss each item. We hope you enjoy this meandering and look forward to your comments and feedback on what you like, what you use, and whatever else you suggest.
So, join me on this journey of looking at and describing some common tools used around wine bottles. Starting at the top, we'll touch on foil cutters to expose a cork if it is covered, explore cork extractors, and finish with some wine bottle stoppers to save the wine for the next day.
First, there is nothing wrong with screwtops on wine bottles if you aren't going to store or save the wine. It can be green to use screwtops. However, many wine bottles have a cork and usually (not always) have some kind of seal over the cork to either keep the cork clean or to make the bottle more attractive. The coverings can vary and include wax, metal foil, and plastic, to name a few. Here are a few examples of foil cutters (also used for wax and plastic) that we've accumulated.
Foil cutters work by placing it over the wine bottle foil (top cover), squeezing the sides or handles together until the inside edges pierce the foil, then rotating either the foil cutter or bottle around until a full circle cut is made of the foil. Then release the pressure, remove the cut foil, and dispose of it.
Now we're ready to remove the cork from the bottle.
There are a variety of cork removers or pullers that you can use to remove the cork in the bottle. The cork puller intends to remove the cork without breaking it inside the bottle. There are two styles, manual and electric. This article will review the manual cork pullers and again, we have a few ourselves to show you.
This type of cork puller incorporates three tools into one. The first is a small knife to cut and peel the foil on the bottle. The second is a corkscrew that you twist into the cork. Tip, don't twist the corkscrew all the way into the cork; leave some above the cork. The third is a lever at one end of the tool that uses that extra space the corkscrew has left for you.
Push down lightly on the opposite end of the tool so the lever comes to the edge of the bottle top. Think of it as a seesaw with the corkscrew in the middle. If need be, unscrew a bit of the corkscrew until the lever can rest on the bottle's top edge.
Then holding the bottle top and lever in one hand, slowly lift the other end of the tool, and the corkscrew will start to pull the cork out of the bottle.
Another type of cork puller doesn't use a corkscrew and instead uses two sculpted wire prongs on either side of the cork. Start by placing the longest prong between the cork and the bottleneck and slide it down until the shorter prong is at the top of the bottle. Then push the second prong between the cork and the bottleneck.
A rocking motion using the Ah-So handle is used to alternate sliding each prong beside the cork until the Ah-So handle is at the top. Then slowly pull the Ah-So handle straight up to remove the cork.
Now we're ready to save any leftover wine in the bottle.
Wine Bottle Stoppers:
Can't finish your bottle of (hard to believe!). You can save it for the next day by sealing the bottleneck again. You can use the cork you pulled from the bottle if it is clean and in good shape or other types of bottle stoppers. We have a variety of stoppers and use different ones for different occasions.
All these stoppers use a plug for the wine bottle to seal it. The original bottle's cork is in the bottom left corner, with four plug-type stoppers above it. In the middle of the picture are a black pump and its related plastic plug below it. The plug has a one-way air valve, so when you place the pump on top of the plug and pump it, you extract air from the bottle. In the top right are two more plug-type stoppers and in the bottom right is just one style of champagne or sparkling wine stopper to keep the bubbles in the bottle.
These stoppers provide a clamp or other method to keep the seal tight to avoid losing the bubble.