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How To Open Wine

11/04/2011 10:53 am ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Watch this video to learn how to properly open and pour a bottle of wine.

Video Transcript


I'm John Fischer from the Culinary Institute of America, where I teach service and wine, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to properly open a bottle of wine.

I'm starting with a classic waiter's-style corkscrew, sometimes called a waiter's friend. It's practical, it's small enough to fit in your pocket, and it really does do the job best.

When you're opening a bottle of wine, the first thing you do is you want to cut the capsule off. So using the blade on this corkscrew, you cut the front, turn your hand around, and cut the back. When you do that, you get the entire foil cut all the way around and it comes off in one piece.

To get the cork out, open up the corkscrew and go in slightly off-center. You want to go in nice and firm and give it a good twist. Then it's usually eight turns or so until you get it down into your cork. Stop when it's parallel to your shoulders, and I'm going to put the corkscrew on the lever, and pull it up most of the way.

Try not to pull the cork out to the side, like this, because it could break, so pull straight up. Then at the very end just give a little wiggle, pull the cork out - and you're done!

Now you pour about about two to three ounces into your glass, pick the bottle up, and catch the drop on the bottle with a napkin or cloth.

So that's the proper way to open and pour a bottle of white wine.

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