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Movies for Wine Lovers

March 26th, 2014 No comments

In the last decade, wine has become a hot topic for filmmakers. And no wonder: there’s something magical about wine: the beautiful vineyards, the thrill of finding a great bottle, the fascinating — and often obsessive — winemakers.

If you’re looking for a great movie that features your favorite beverage, check out our top picks:

Sideways

The seminal wine movie, Sideways is a dark comedy that tells the story of two very different friends who take a road trip through California’s Santa Ynez wine country. If you haven’t seen this film, it’s time to queue it up on your Netflix immediately. (We’ve mentioned this one before, in our Wine Profile for Pinot Noir).

Bottle Shock

Bottle Shock tells the famous true story of the blind Paris wine tasting for 1976, which pitted California wines against French wines for the first time. Parts of this movie are a bit cheesy, but the story is too good to miss, and Alan Rickman is fantastic as a wine shop owner who initiates the tasting.

Corked

This outrageous comedy showcases how four different Northern California wineries go out of their way to cater to a visiting critic and get him to choose their wine as the best. A hilariously diverse cast of characters keep this story moving.

Somm

Somm is a fascinating documentary that follows four sommeliers in the last few days before what might be the most difficult test in the world. If they pass, they’ll become Master Sommeliers, of which there are only 200 in the world. It’s a nail biter with an unexpected twist at the end: a can’t miss for true wine lovers.      

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How to Open a Bottle of Wine the Right Way

March 11th, 2014 No comments

You could open a bottle of wine in your sleep…but are you doing it right? Learn the simple steps to properly open a bottle of wine, and look like a pro at your next dinner party.

Step One: Gather your tools

There are a lot of fancy wine openers (we sell some great ones!) on the market, but you should at least know how to do it properly, with an old-fashioned “waiter’s corkscrew” (also called a “sommelier’s friend”) that you can pick up for a few dollars and that slips easily into a pocket.

Step Two: Remove the Foil

Flip the small knife on the corkscrew out, and hold the corkscrew in the fist of one hand, the blade pointing towards your thumb. Holding the bottle firmly in the other hand, place the knife blade below the lip of the bottle. (Too high, and you could potentially contaminate the wine with bacteria from the outside of the bottle as it’s being poured.) Squeezing the neck of the bottle between the knife and your thumb, rotate the bottle. After one or two passes, your foil will be cut cleanly all the way around.  Using a scraping motion with the knife, peel the foil upwards and away from the bottle. Finish removing it with your hands.

Step Three: Insert the Corkscrew

Close the knife, and flip the corkscrew out. Again holding the wine bottle firmly in one hand, use the other to insert the point of the corkscrew into the center of the cork. Applying gentle downward pressure while turning the corkscrew will help it get started traveling downward into the cork in the proper position. Continue twisting downward until there is one turn of the corkscrew left. (Going too far could push the corkscrew all the way through the cork, breaking it or pushing cork residue into the wine.)

Step Four: Remove the Cork.

Set the first step of the corkscrew (the projection closest to the screw) onto the lip of the bottle. Continuing to hold the bottle firmly in one hand (never put it down on the table, that’s considered bad manners), use the other to apply upward pressure and lever the cork up. Once the cork has moved up enough, switch to the second step of the corkscrew. Using both steps lessens the chance the cork will bend and break. Once you’ve leveraged the cork out as far as it will go, simply pull to remove it the rest of the way.

Step Five: Remove the Cork from the Corkscrew

Being careful not to poke yourself, twist the cork off of the corkscrew with your hand. You’ll want to inspect the cork for damage, which can include cracks running up its sides, mold, or other signs of deterioration. If the cork doesn’t signal you that something has gone wrong with the wine, it’s time to pour a glass. After all that hard work, you deserve it!