The last time I had a craving for wine, I did what any classy chick would do: Went to Kroger and used their convenient “Buy 6 bottles of wine using this caddy and we’ll give you 10% off each bottle” advertisement and did just that. One of those bottles was a white wine that I had tried one evening at a friend’s house and actually enjoyed. It was a Yellowtail Chardonnay and I thought it was quite tasty and refreshing. Thinking the bottle I purchased was going to be as good, it was the first of the six wines I bought that evening that I decided to drink. Now, we bought an OXO brand corkscrew, one with the rabbit ears, right? Pretty easy to use. Well, for the average person; at first I didn’t realize you pushed down on the rabbit ears to ease the cork out, and then pulled. I pulled on the ears in the upright position, which was difficult, and I was quickly instructed on how to properly use the device. Since then, easy sailing. Until it came across a synthetic cork, shoved down into the Yellowtail bottle. This should have been my first indication that this wine sucked; synthetic corks are a nightmare! To me, it just indicates that your wine is as cheap as the method you use to preserve it. To make a long story short, the corkscrew broke in half while trying to bunny-ear this synthetic cork and left only the “screw” of the corkscrew remaining in the bottle. After a half-hour of pulling with some pliers, and a blister to boot, we got the cork out in several pieces.
The wine tasted nothing like it did that night, and was not worth the price I paid for it, let alone the additional effort required to drink it.
This is the back story as to why I currently do not have any kind of corkscrew. I am trying a new recipe for marinading some tofu and the recipe requires some red wine. Forgetting we did not have a corkscrew, I proceeded to compile the ingredients for the marinade and stopped abruptly when I remembered we were without a means to open this lovely bottle of Tuscan Chianti that I had chosen.
Before Google search became my answer to any question, I would have possibly called someone and asked how they would open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. Instead, I asked a friend if they had a spare, but had little luck finding a corkscrew. Not wanting to buy another cheap-o, I went to Google search and inquired, “open wine without corkscrew” and was directed here –FANTASTIC! Wikihow has been very helpful in the past and has answered several quandaries I’ve had in the past–how to get vomit out of carpet, how to fold a leaf into a rose, what to bring to a Chinese New Year celebration—How could I go wrong?
Here’s how it steered me wrong:
I inserted a screw into the cork and proceeded to remove the screw, sans cork, with a pair of pliers.
I straightened a coat hanger and made a hook and tried to press it into the cork, but it just made a dent in the cork to go along with the GAPING HOLE left by the screw. I also questioned how it would feel to have a half inch of a coat hanger sticking into the soft flesh on the side of my hand and paused.
I even used a shoe to hit the bottom of the bottle and decided that I a) did not want the cork to magically come out and glug wine all over the floor and wall and b) did not want to risk breaking the bottom of the wine bottle somehow and have a sharp, sticky mess to deal with.
Finally, with my sanity drained, I STUCK A PARING KNIFE INTO THE CORK and proceeded to try to pull the cork out with the knife. Come on, WHAT WAS I THINKING!? That knife could have come out and sliced me something awful.
Only, I didn’t need to worry about pulling out the knife, because as I was pressing the knife into the cork, the cork suddenly fell into the wine, and with a pop, whizz, whoosh, and spray… I had a different problem.
That’s right, I had inadvertantly participated in the –WARNING– DANGER– section of this wikihow article–Pushing the cork into the bottle. I now had a knife, stuck in a cork, stuck in a wine bottle. I managed to leverage the cork with a pair of pliers and very carefully removed the knife with only a little more wine spillage. Needless to say, the wall in the kitchen will need to be repainted, as I do not believe wine splatters are in the current issue of Interior Design Magazine.
Problem solved. I’ve got my marinade going, and I’m enjoying a glass as well–This wine was worth all the extra effort!