Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Manners: Rule #22

Rule #22: Ten Do's and Don'ts of Opening Wine

1. Always take the metallic seal completely off the wine bottle. The wine should only come in contact with the lip of the bottle as it flows into the glass.

2. If the top of the cork is discolored or moldy or damp, air has likely seeped into the bottle and the wine is no longer good. If a party brought their own bottle of wine in, alert them to the possible damage and suggest a tasting of the wine if there is resistance to throwing it away.

3. If it's proving difficult to pull the cork out of a bottle, don't, for the love of God, but the bottle between your thighs in an effort to get a better grip.

4. When using one of those push and pull bottle openers that clamps to the bar, place it in a spot that does not face a bar stool. Because in my experience, sometimes the cork is shoved into the bottle, spraying large quantities of wine onto one unlucky patron sitting in one unfortunate spot.

5. Don't touch the bottle opening with your hands. Ever.

6. If cork has broken off into the bottle, offer to decanter the wine with a filter.

7. Carry a bar towel or fabric napkin with you to catch drips when pouring.

8. Speed is everything. When you take a long time to open a bottle of wine, people get nervous.

9. Invest in a few good wine openers. When you're opening dozens of bottles a night, a cheap opener will give you calluses, bend, break, fall apart, slow you down, or whatever else you can think of that may ruin your night

10. Sometimes customers like to show off and may ask to open their own bottle of wine. Let 'em. Only two things can happen. 1) He'll screw it up and you'll save the day  2) He'll do a beautiful job and love you for allowing him to look so good


  1. Sediment Blog- good point. It's not so clear is it?! I say always take the whole thing off in one quick swoop with the small knife in the corkscrew. What do you think? Let me edit...