Corkscrews < Helpful Hints < Wine Expert | Online Wine Store | WSJwine

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Corkscrew didn't work?

Too many corkscrews are made too short for long corks (usually used for more expensive wines). Length is important. So is a good width of screw. Avoid those solid metal corkscrew threads with thick central shafts … they are very good at disemboweling corks. We recommend the using our own Connoisseur Corkscrew which comes in several styles … they can pull the most stubborn cork with ease.


Bits of floating cork?

It just happens … fish them out … and get a better corkscrew.

Cork has pushed straight into the bottle?

It may well be the cork's fault, but could also be poor technique with the corkscrew. Worth investing in a clever cork retriever.

Corkscrew technique?

When inserting the tip of the corkscrew, do not push down hard … rather try and 'hook' it into the cork sideways, then allow the corkscrew to draw itself gently into the cork as you turn … without any downward pressure from you.

Leaking bottles? Stained or dry corks?

The passage of a little air between wine and the outside world helps its ageing process … but can allow wine to escape too. Warm the bottle too much or too fast, especially on its side and it certainly will. What to do? Wipe it away and don't worry unless it appears, from the level of wine in the bottle, to have been excessive. Send it back … but do make sure your storage conditions are good … not in the kitchen, attic or garage … all places where temperatures can soar too high or drop too low. Otherwise, the appearance of the cork (either damp and stained or quite dry) is nothing to worry about.