I enjoy a nice glass of wine from time to time. The challenge for me is getting the wine bottle open. Some people seem to have no issues putting the corkscrew into the cork…. twisting the handle ….. and voilà…. the cork comes easily out of the bottle.
I am NOT one of those people. I am cork-challenged.
On countless times, I have had the cork come out only part way and get stuck in the bottle and then I had to try to dig it out… leaving bits of cork floating around in my chardonnay. And there was the time that I just could not seem to get the bottle foil to peel off. (For the wine-ignorant, you have to get the foil off first before you can begin attempting to remove the cork.) I was digging at it with a knife and having a very hard time….. and trying, of course, to not cut myself in the process. I could not seem to slit the foil and I had to bend it up in pieces (I actually went and got a pair of pliers) only to finally realize that the bottle did not have a cork… it had instead a screw top and I had spent 15 minutes prying bits of metal up—which were now sticking out everywhere (the wine bottle looked like it was having a very bad hair day) and I had to wear gloves to twist the damaged screw top off.
Those are the times that I think that having a Sprite would be a better and safer choice for me.
With that in mind, you can imagine my excitement when I was at a friend’s house and watched as she opened her bottle of wine. She attached to the wine bottle a tool-looking-contraption (I love tools) and with two hand motions, inserted the corkscrew and pulled the corkscrew out with the cork firmly attached in one piece to the corkscrew. It was amazing!! There was no twisting or picking out pieces of cork. I thought to myself………. surely even I could do this. So, I recently purchased a “My Perfect Kitchen—5 Piece Easy Lift Corkscrew Set” which said in big print on the outside the box…. “To open a wine bottle follow these simple steps.”
My first issue was with Step Number 1 (of course) which said to place the foil cutter on top of the bottle, squeeze and twist to remove the foil from the bottle. Doesn’t that sound simple? Well, I put the stupid foil cutter on the bottle and I squeeze and twist and either this cutter cannot cut butter or I have a very poor grip (which is probably more likely. I have noticed certain physical changes with getting older …. And I am suspicious that my grip is getting a big weaker. I need to get some of those squeezy balls.)
But is it also likely that I was putting the foil cutter on the wrong area…they also had picture directions and frankly, they were a bit confusing. I had considered watching a You-Tube video about this but those who remember reading about my installing Lauren’s Car-Seat know that I am also video-challenged. (https://jfhandy.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/2012-04-14-the-car-seat/)
So, I get out my trusty knife and I am still having a bit of trouble so I once again try the foil cutter and I finally make a small slit with it so that I can now stick my knife in the slit and twist and cut and remove the foil. I can now see the cork.
At this point, I am thinking I really need a drink but oh…yeah….. I have not opened the bottle yet.
(A post script note: I did find out later that I did NOT have the foil cutter on correctly—and the little blades were not next to the foil. I was merely twisting plastic again the foil. See…I told you I was cork-challenged.)
The next step involves putting the bottle grips around the neck of the bottle. I am to lift the lever to raise the corkscrew coil. I am to position it so the corkscrew will be directly over the bottle and then squeeze the grips to firmly hold the neck of the bottle. I am then to push the lever down while continuing to squeeze the grips.
I am standing in my kitchen studying the pictures and reading the directions and my eyes are glazing over and I thinking to myself….. my girlfriend made this look so simple. (Of course, I have the feeling she had opened lots of bottles of wine in the past.) I try to put the tool on only to realize that I had it upside down.
But I turned it right side up …. and as hard as this is to believe, I actually squeezed and pushed and gripped and amazingly enough, up came the cork. I did not have to dig it out nor did I have to pry anything off. I did not break the bottle. I was so stunned that it took a few minutes for me to regain my composure. And I was so excited about my success that I wanted to open another bottle of wine but living by myself….. and having a low tolerance for even small amounts of alcohol, I decided I should not push my luck and I should settle for opening one bottle.
This however, brings up a dating issue for me. If the day were to come where I had a gentleman caller with smiling eyes come to my home for dinner………..what should I do? Should I whip out the wine tool and demonstrate my wine bottle opening skills…..but what kind of message would that send? She’s good with tools? She has spent some time around wine bottles? Or, do I smile and hand him the old-fashioned corkscrew and ask if he would open the bottle of wine?
I will deal with that if and when the day comes but until then………I will confess that it is truly nice to have a glass of wine and not have pieces of cork floating around in it. And besides, it is fun to learn a new skill! So, here’s to my new wine bottle tools and a cork-less glass of chardonnay!
The Challenge—Simple Steps—Picture instructions: Remove the Foil-eh?—jfh Removes the Foil—Picture instructions: Remove the Cork—jfh Removes the Cork Step One—jfh Removes the Cork Step Two—Success—Packed and Ready for the Next Time