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Posts Tagged ‘opening wine’

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!

 

 

All Good Wines Take Time

February 22nd, 2011 No comments

GrapesServing wine is a ritual for the senses, similar to having British tea. There’s the artful process of wine selection followed by bottle presentation, uncorking, pouring, relishing the initial aroma of the nose, taking the first sip followed by a lengthier taste to judge both body and finish, and so on. The process of serving wine is not meant not be hurried; this ritual is meant to be savored. Even the glassware and wine opener should be selected with care to evoke the occasion’s desired mood. A cheap corkscrew will clearly not evoke the same aesthetic response as a beautiful, antique-plated Rogar Champion wine opener, for example.

Although some people attempt to rush the ritual, wine cannot be hurried. Its flavors open in their own time. While several products exist to help speed up the aeration process, allowing wine time to naturally aerate in the glass or a decanter is essential to any exciting tasting journey. Sipping a very closed wine, then experiencing how its flavor changes as it begins to open make the wine tasting experience a delight. There’s something magical about how a closed wine will, in a few minutes, begin to breathe, allowing its taste to be unlocked more fully. The expectation and surprise that arise as a wine opens is also symbolic of timeless adage that “all good things take time.” There are certainly many good things that take time in this life, and should! Wine tasting–like most aspects of wine’s creation and enjoyment–is definitely among them.

Gifts for Wine Lovers: Rogar Wine Openers

December 13th, 2010 No comments

Looking for a holiday gift for a special wine lover in your life?  How about a quality wine opener?  Rogar wine openers were originally designed in the late nineteenth century to meet demands from restauranteurs for a professional wine opener that could get the job done fast.  Today, Rogar wine openers remove the cork in under a second.
One of Rogar’s premiere lines is the Rogar Champion opener series.  Champion openers can both uncork and recork the bottle with speedy ease.  All Champion wine openers feature the Rogar original design: a vine-and-flowers theme that’s classically beautiful.  The base is made of die-cast zinc, and the top can be finished with nickel or pewter, and there are both wood and granite options for the stand and handle.  The Rogar Champion line has timeless elegance that any wine lover is sure to appreciate for years to come.

Rogar Estate openers are another beautiful option.  Their gorgeous designs make them timeless pieces that will never go out of style.  This particular model has an antique bronze finish and a hardwood handle.  It features an ornate design of grapes and leaves.  It can be clamped onto a bar, shelf or table for a classic barroom look, or it can be paired with one of Rogar’s stands for a beautiful, self-supported look.

If you’re looking for that perfect wine gift for the wine lover in your life, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful and functional Rogar wine opener.

How to Pop a Champagne Cork…with a Sword!

August 31st, 2010 No comments

Ok, ok, there are many reasons that you should never try to “saber” (as it’s called) a champagne bottle.  Just off the top of my head: it’s dangerous, it’s sort of silly, and since it isn’t easy, you’ll most likely to get a carpetful of glass shards and spilled bubbly.  Yes, logic would dictate that we always use the tentative twist method.  But this is just so much cooler!

Sabering became popular just after the French Revolution, when Napoleon and his fearsome army were fighting their way across Europe and earning victories at every step.  Their success gave them plenty of reason to celebrate, and they would hold parties that involved many bottles of champagne, which Napoleon’s cavalrymen would open with their sabers.  In fact, Napoleon, who almost certainly supported the practice, once said:

Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it.

If you want to impress your friends at your next (preferably outdoor) party by casually sabering a bottle of bubbly a la Napoleon, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the bottle of champagne is very chilled–it’s best if you let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  Some sabering experts recommend using only real, French champagne, which they say opens more cleanly.
  2. You’ll need some kind of sword-like object.  You can use a special champagne saber made for the purpose, but in a pinch, a big kitchen knife works fine too.  Of course, if you have an old French cavalry sword laying around, using it would bump up your cool factor considerably.
  3. Remove the foil from the cork, and take off the wire cage that surrounds it.
  4. Locate your target point.  You’re looking for one of the two vertical seams that run the length of a champagne bottle.
  5. Hold the bottle correctly: with a firm grip at the base and at a 45-degree angle pointing away from your kids, windows, and priceless art.
  6. With the blunt side of the saber (or knife) facing towards the cork, practice running the saber down along the bottle, aiming for that target point.

    We hope this kid isn't going to drink the champagne after he sabers the bottle.

  7. When you’re ready, in one fluid motion, draw the saber down along the seam, and pop off the cork.  Be sure to follow through, fully swinging your arm.  Don’t be timid–you need some real force here.
  8. Success!  If you did it right, the cork and the small ring of glass around it should have come cleanly off, and you should have lost no more than an ounce of champagne.  For the ultimate finishing touch, pour a round for your guests like the feat you just performed was no big deal.

Remember, this is an art, not a science.  If you didn’t do it right the first time, try try again.  (Or go back to the trusty manual way.  You coward.)