The only thing worse than breaking the cork on a spicey, full-bodied Chilean red wine after a long work week is dropping that beautiful red on your front porch steps after fumbling with your keys in the pouring rain for 10 minutes. (Yes, it was a sad night.) Both of these things should be avoided, but at least the first mistake is completely solvable.
Wine cork breaks can happen if your wine opener isn’t strong enough to pierce the cork, or they can happen if you don’t have a wine opener, and in desperation you try to break the cork apart with your keys, a knife — the list goes on and on. Whatever the case is, please, stop what you’re doing and go no further. We will get through this together.
Here is a simple step-by-step guide to get you through this horrible ordeal without ruining your wine:
1. Remove whatever wine opener is still in the cork and set it aside.
2. Grab a screw or a sharp knife, and insert either into the cork until you have enough leverage to pull the cork out. Do not pierce through the bottom of the cork.
3. If step 2 doesn’t work, place a thick marker or pen against the top of the cork.
4. Use a book, shoe, or hammer to tap on the marker or pen until the cork slides down into the bottle.
5. If pieces of the cork fell into the wine, strain the wine through a pasta strainer or coffee filter as you pour it into a glass.
You have conquered the dreaded wine cork break, and don’t you think that deserves some celebration?
Image: Steven Depolo/Flickr