Wine Blog

Wine service: 5 hacks to shine

Opening a bottle of wine seems easy, but it really requires hours of theory and practice to be able to do it right, without cutting your fingers with the capsule or the corkscrew. I invite you to check out some tips to shine like a homemade sommelier.

By Ania Smolec / March 06, 2017
Wine Journalist

1. Capsule

The bottle cap is made of a special type of metal that is very flexible but resistant. There are many designs. Disengaging it seems like a simple matter, but it can be very dangerous. You not only run the risk of cutting your fingers, but also micro-metal sediments can be poured into the glass with the wine. So always take this step very carefully.

Tip: The easiest way to remove the capsule is simply to throw it away. Cut through the lower part and manually remove it.

Descorchar vino1

Obviously reaching the wine is the ultimate goal and no one will reproach you for throwing the capsule. I know many experts who do that in the privacy of their homes. But, of course, it’s not what we usually see at restaurants.

To do it correctly, first cut the capsule around the neck of the bottle with the mini knife of the corkscrew. Then make a vertical cut at some point of the capsule, from above to the line where you made the horizontal cut.

The horizontal cut line should run under the convex ring of the bottle, about 1.5 cm above the capsule. This allows you to remove only the small upper part of it. This method leaves most of the capsule intact, preserving the brand and packaging of the wine.

Tip: Always try to make the cut with just one move.

2. Cork

Raise your hand, which of you have ripped the cork and pushed it into the bottle at least once. Hold on. I cannot write with just one hand. Yes, it has happened to me many times.

Some new Italian and French scientific studies show that the art of removing the cork from the bottle is more efficient with a combination of twist and pull. Do not just pull, according to them.

Tip: Putting the corkscrew through the center of the cork decreases the risk of breaking it.

Corchos Don Melchor

You should push it all the way down, keeping it always straight (about 6-7 turns inwards). Then remove the cork gently. Use this type of lever that incorporates the corkscrew. So we just have to follow the rules of physics as the cork should pop and leave easily.

Tip: Always keep the bottle upright. Otherwise, when the cork comes out, the wine could be poured on the floor, the table, and clothes. Yes, wherever.

3. Drops

Wine stains are a nightmare and we always try to avoid them. But how to pour a portion without marking the table with drops of wine?

Tip: Use a drop stop.


The drop stop is a type of metallic folia disc (absolutely safe for health). What you should do is just roll it up and put it in the bottle, where it fits firmly, forming a seal that prevents the droplets from seeping out. These discs are reusable. After serving the wine rinse it and save it for the next time. You can buy them in specialized wine shops or at winery stores like our Wine Shop at Pirque.

4. The order of the service

Sometimes we serve more than one wine during a session, as we are doing a tasting or a banquet with many dishes. It is very easy to get confused. Whose is that glass and which wine does it contain?

Tip: Distinguish the glasses with markers.

Copa marcador

Markers can be purchased at wine stores or prepared at home. Simply cut very small cards, make small holes and hang them from the stem of the glass with a ribbon. Ah. Do not forget to write the names of the wines on the cards.

I propose putting ribbons of several colors and making bows in the feet of the glasses. This will make it easier for guests to recognize their drinks. I always get the pink one.

5. Double C

The first C is for cup and the second is for capacity.

Tip: It is better to use a glass that is too large than a too small one.

cata copas casillero

The best thing is to have glasses for each style of wine, but sometimes we simply can’t. In this case a larger size cup can also serve different strains and styles.

Regarding the amount of wine that is poured into the glass, the rule goes in the opposite direction: less is more.

Tip: If you are not sure of the quantity, count from 1 to 5 while pouring the wine. Not so slow, please. The wine should not exceed one third of the glass.

I assure you that by following these tips and with some practice you will make a beautiful ritual from wine service. Do not worry. It is easier than it seems.

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