The trials and tribulations of opening older wines.

The trials and tribulations of opening older wines.

Over the years it's fair to say I have opened many bottles of older vintage wines and port. I have had many great, good and okay experiences, but the occasional dud! The most special have often been birthday wines or anniversary gifts which you really want to treat carefully.

One of the first issues to overcome is the cork, especially in bottles older than thirty, although they can be tricky for many reasons at any age. I have tried lots of differing types of corkscrews. My go to is still a Screwpull, bought over by Le Creuset and sadly not as robust as they used to be. It has a long screw with good diameter and removes the cork in one continual motion.

For a crumbly or fragile cork there is the Ah-So or Butler's Thief. Two prongs that go either side of the cork. You then twist and pull to remove the cork in one piece. I have personally never got on that well with mine.

The one however that is undoubtedly the best is The Durandā„¢. It combines the screws with the prongs. The screw holding the cork in place and then pulling the cork out with the prongs.

It is an expensive item for sure, but invaluable for anyone opening precious bottles.


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