How to Save a Broken Wine Cork

Can't keep the cork from cracking under pressure? Adrian Murcia, a New York City sommelier, says you can still save the bottle.

1. If You've Got Cheesecloth...

Push the cork into the bottle using your finger. Place a piece of cheesecloth over a decanter or glass, then slowly pour the wine through -- the cloth will catch all the offending bits. (Unbleached coffee filters work, too, but the denser weave might sap the wine’s flavor.)

2. If You've Got Twine...

Push the cork into the bottle and pour some wine off so the cork bobs near the bottle's neck. Cut a foot of twine and doubleknot it at one end. Then drop the knotted end into the bottle (past the cork) and maneuver the cork toward the opening by pulling it with the knot.

3. If You've Got Nothing...

If all you have is a corkscrew, gently twist it back into what's left of the cork, then invert the bottle to an angle greater than 45 degrees. The pressure from the liquid should help push the cork while you pull. Turn the bottle upright again to finish removing the cork.

How to Avoid a Break

Be sure to first remove the bottle's casing using a sharp knife or the cutting tool on a corkscrew. Position the tip of the screw slightly off center, then slowly spiral it in as far as it will go. When it's firmly in, gently ease out the cork, pulling straight up. Use the corkscrew arm for leverage.


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