When Cork Falls in Your Wine, Use a Paper Towel to Strain It Out

When Cork Falls in Your Wine, Use a Paper Towel to Strain It Out

Corkscrews can be hard to use — and if you're like me, you've botched many a wine-opening attempt. 

It happened again last weekend, when I and some family members set out to enjoy a fancy bottle of wine we'd been saving for a special occasion. We twisted the corkscrew into the cork, but as we pulled it out, the cork split in half. Our attempts to avert disaster only made things worse: The bottom half of the cork fell down into the wine, somehow crumbling into 7,000 pieces on its way.

I enjoy my orange juice with pulp, but I can't say the same for red wine. Still, we didn't want to waste the bottle.

Finally, we landed on a solution: Pouring the wine through some kind of strainer.

A standard kitchen strainer filtered out the bigger bits of cork, but some of the tinier particles still made it through. 

So we took it up a notch: We layered the metal strainer with paper towel. 

It worked like a coffee filter, trapping even the tiniest cork grounds and letting nothing but liquid flow through.

Does Cabernet Sauvignon taste best when poured through paper towel? A sommelier would probably think not. Thankfully, I'm accustomed to Two-Buck Chuck — so it tasted just fine to me.