For ages, great winemakers have been trying to low down any source of alteration of the aromatic properties of the wine.
Amongst many levers, they explored different types of bottle closures.
Some of these are pure child’s play to release - and are also very useful to close the bottle back when willing to spare some wine for later on.
Not even mentioning silicone stoppers, this is the case with screw or glass caps that open in a jiffy and also with the innovative Australian Zork that combines the convenience of screw and the pop of a cork. Finally, a classic beer bottle opener would overcome any crown cap - very rarely used to seal a wine bottle indeed.
Yet, the "cork" remains the standard
The traditional natural version is still the most valued option because it allows the mycro-oxygenation, helping the wine itself to develop and evolve through the years.
Nevertheless due to the lack of cork in nature some alternatives, such as technical/agglomerated or petroleum-based synthetic caps, have become more popular.
Whatever the material, to "uncork" a bottle of plain wine requires some special tool and savoir-faire.
This is quite an easy ritual; although doing it with kind of art comes with experience and passion. Once you’ve cut away the top of the foil covering the cork just above the first ridge, there are three main corkscrews that can be used. To each his/her own.
The most famous - and professional - one is the wine key also called "waiter’s corkscrew".
It’s a little folding device with a "worm", a boot lever and a very small foil cutter.
- First, position the corkscrew in the center of the cork and twist it clockwise down into the cork until the last coil is covered.
- Rest the shorter notch of the lever on the lip of the bottleneck and pull up the handle to bring the cork halfway out.
- Repeat using the longer notch this time and continue to lift until the cork is entirely removed. If the cork still doesn't pop free, twist the "worm" and pull it out; be careful not to bend it and break it in half.
The wing corkscrew is the second option and it requires less exertion of strength - even.
- Starting similar to the wine key, insert the corkscrew into the center of the cork and twist the top handle to insert the corkscrew further into it; twist the handle clockwise until the coils are fully embedded. Note that the wings will rise as the corkscrew draws itself downward.
- Place the bottle on a flat surface, then use both hands to press the wings down simultaneously, drawing the cork up.
Finally, you can choose to get an electric corkscrew.
If it’s definitely not the purist nor the fastest way to open a bottle, it is undoubtedly the easiest one. Just position the corkscrew above the bottle with the first coil’s tip centred on the cork. Press and hold the extraction button until it pops out and push the other button to get it off the shaft. That’s it!