Who doesn’t love discovering a new tip and trick when it comes to the world of booze?
Admittedly, when it gets down to it, most are more time consuming than using the actual equipment designed specifically for that task, but why let that get in the way of a bit of trickery and awe?
Personally, I’m done with opening my bottle of vino with a regular corkscrew, yawn, too pedestrian. I’d much rather scour the utility drawer for a random screw and claw-hammer – or, even better, put the bottle inside an old shoe and bang it against a wall. The neighbours will love it, and who needed that wall anyway?
In fact, why don’t I just stand outside in the rain and bash it against a tree?
Likewise, there’s zero chance you’ll catch me using an actual decanter to aerate my red wine now. No sir, I’ll be the one chucking it into a blender trying to keep the lid on so it doesn’t spray all over my white shirt.
Or, pouring the red wine through a Brita filter instead of taking an Alka Seltzer to ward off a hangover.
Of course, the reality is being a drinks guru I am just a tad cynical when it comes to all this boozy show pony-ness. But if some do actually work, is the joke actually on me?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m always up for being surprised and delighted – so without further ado, I’ve tried out five wine hacks I’ve spotted on social media said toenhance our drinking experience… allegedly.
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Pull a cork with a knife and fork
Don’t try this with the family silver, the knife is bound to get mangled in the process, or at least it did for me. The trick is apparently to burrow the blade as far into the cork as it’ll go, slide the gap in the middle fork prongs over the remaining blade and turn it around, like you would a corkscrew. I failed miserably, with bits of cork breaking off and the knife warping. Bad hack.
Wrap wine bottles in paper towels to chill them faster
I didn’t even need to try this hack, as it doesn’t work unless you have a blast freezer where the air moves around. In most freezers, the air is static, so the wet paper towels actually protect the bottle, taking longer for it to chill. Far better to put the naked bottle into the freezer on it’s side, for more bottle-freezer contact, set a timer and pull it out before it freezes or explodes.
Put wine in a blender to make it taste more expensive
I had high hopes for this hack, as the science stacks up. Aerating wine opens it up, turning up the volume on the flavours. I started off with a fruit bomb of a wine, Cali Red from Snoop Dogg, which was a mistake. Ideally it should be something less opulent, such as Asda’s Baron Austin Bordeaux (£5.75). Pour the wine into a blender, give it a few pulses until it froths. It really does open it up, though making it taste more expensive is a stretch.
Pull a cork with a screw and hammer
You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver, a long screw and a claw-hammer. Turn the screw into the cork until it’s about halfway in, leaving at least a couple of centimetres of screw showing for the hammer to gain purchase. (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write in a wine column.) Next, slide the head of the screw into the claw and slowly pull. The cork disintegrated for me, but I reckon this could work if you really wanted it to.
Put a teaspoon in a bottle of fizz to stop it going flat
Get this, I’ve always thought this was an old wives tale, but I do it anyway. Anyone else do that? It pains me to say it, but it’s been proven that this doesn’t work, and I mean proper testing and research has been done. Left overnight, bottles with no stopper decreased at the same rate as those with teaspoons dangling in the neck. We all knew that really though, but we’ll probably keep on doing it.
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