Tips and tricks for every awkward wine situation
You all know we’re just over here low-key celebrating wine in all its excellence all day, erry damn day. But you may not know that one of our favourite things to discuss is not just how bloody good our wine tastes (shocking, I know), but trading those various tips and tricks any true wine loving group of besties invariably picks up over the years and trying to out do each other with the amazing and miraculous things we can do when it comes to the world’s greatest grape-related beverage.
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite hacks that not only make it easier to drink your favourite wine, but also ways to enhance your drinking experience. From how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew, to how to emergency chill a warm bottle of white wine in record time. We promise, you’ll be glad to have these hacks in your back pocket this summer!
HACK – how to quickly chill that bottle.
Scenario #1 – Your in-laws are coming for dinner and you’ve spent all afternoon cooking up a seafood storm but as their car pulls into the driveway – you realise you forgot to chill the bottle of bubbles you bought especially for the occasion!
If you need to chill a warm bottle of wine but only have limited time to get it to a drinkable temperature, try wetting a paper towel or tea towel with cold water, wrap the towel around the bottle and stick it in the freezer for 10 to 20 minutes. Magic!
All you have to do now is come up with 10-20 minutes of small talk to distract the in-laws. “Would you like to see our new garden hose?”
HACK – when the cork breaks in the bottle
Scenario #2 – Your boss brought around a bottle of Grange to go with dinner and, while opening it, hubby has somehow managed to grind up the cork finer than your perfectly minced Beef Tartare.
Never fear – if you screw up your cork removal and it breaks into the wine bottle, grab a coffee filter and place it over the bottle opening. Pour the rest of the wine into a decanter, through the filter to keep the cork floaties from ending up in anyone’s drink! Everyone who’s anyone knows a big red should be properly decanted before drinking anyway, right?
HACK – You’ve spilled the red wine!
Scenario #3 – You’ve finally been invited to your bestie’s extremely well furnished new house and even though you used the coasters provided, your 3yo has managed to upend half a glass of Pinot onto her brand new, spectacularly beige upholstered ottoman…
Stay calm!! Even though red wine stains can look like murder scenes, they’re actually not that hard to fight. All you need to do is fess up to your bestie and ask where she keeps her industrial sized Saxa (you know she’s hiding one, despite the La Creuset grinder in pride of place on the kitchen counter).
Pour some salt on the stain, leave it for an hour and then wash it away with water. You can add a little bit of soda water when you clean off the salt to help loosen any lasting stains.
HACK – how to make that cheap wine taste great
Scenario #4 – you’ve mixed friendship groups for a summer BBQ and you know your (self-proclaimed) wino buds are going to get real judgey about the wine-in-a-box your High School bestie so thoughtfully provided for the occasion.
We’ve all been there. You buy the $5 bottle of wine on special at Dan’s, because it’s all you can afford and you convince yourself that cheap wine is better than no wine… but is it really?
Easy fix! To brighten up any cheap wine, add some soda water (plain or fruit flavoured), and bam – you’ve got this summer’s hottest cocktail – the White Wine Spritzer. It’s #trendy. Even your wine club buddies can’t argue with that.
HACK – No corkscrew, don’t worry you’re not screwed. Open the wine bottle with a shoe.
Scenario #5 – that weekend away you’ve been fantasising about all year has finally arrived. You’re holed up in a cabin, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but your best friends, a Spotify playlist and enough wine and cheese to last a normal person a month for company. But you forgot the corkscrew.
Don’t even sweat it. No corkscrew doesn’t have to mean that you’re screwed. There are still ways to open the bottle without sabering it! (please don’t try this at home).
Take off your shoe and put the wine bottle in it (just trust us). You’re camping, so we’re going to assume you’re wearing sneakers or sensible flats at the very least. The bottom of the bottle should be where your heel would be if you were wearing your shoe. Next, carefully hit the bottom of the shoe, wine bottle inside, against sturdy wall. After a few goes, the cork will eventually pop out. Try not to spill it everywhere.
Also – you might want to turn up the volume on that 90s playlist while you’re doing this – don’t want to disturb the neighbours with thumps in the night…
What’s your favourite wine hack? Tell us in the comments.
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