Thursday July 27, 2006

how to survive a broken corkscrew

Hello! KM was nice enough to invite me over for dinner last night where she cooked up the bestest paella you've ever done tasted.

Everything was fresh off the Fresh Direct truck - skrimps + chorizo sausage + mussels + sea scallaps the size of a baby's head. I brought the finest wines that Trader Joe's had to offer.

Problem is the stoopid corkscrew broke mid-opening. It's my fault. I did it wrong and fucked the whole thing up, leaving the busted-off piece of the corkscrew stuck inside the cork.

So, how to fix it?

First, you going to need some tools (Ikea, $8). I recommend trying the plyers first. They'll help in pulling the broken piece of corkscrew out of the cork. If you're lucky, you'll pull the cork out too. If not...

... go at it with a Sharpie and a hammer. One would think you could just hammer that cork right on down into the depths of the bottle. No such luck.

So, I went with the screwdriver. Chip, chip, chipping away at the cork until I figured it was small enough to push though with the aid of the Sharpie and hammer.

By the way, make sure to dump out the cork dust as you chip through. Blowing into the bottle will help.

Be sure to save the chipped out piece of cork so you can eaisly gauge how close you are to breaking through. When you feel like you've chipped enough away, go back at it with the Sharpie and hammer / screwdriver combo.

Once you break through (success!) you'll now need to focus on separating the cork dust from the wine.

I recommend using a standard household sieve to catch the big pieces of cork as you pour your wine into a decorative decanter (e.g. giant measuring cup).

Despite the use of the sieve, you'll inevitably have cork still floating in your wine. Luckily, thanks to some miracle of science, you'll find that the mini cork pieces have a tendency to float towards each other, grouping themselves into a sort of cork island. You can speed up the creation of Cork Island* by blowing on the wine in an attempt to bring the big pieces together.

Finally, use a melon scoop (or comparable kitchen utensil) to remove Cork Island form your wine.


* Not to be confused with Cork, Ireland.

For bonus points, try sabring the bottle with an expensive kitchen knife. We'll try that next week. [more]

Thu 7/27 @ 6:59 PM | # link| Comments (1)
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