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.