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November 12, 2011

I got home tonight tired from a long day at work, and I decided to pop open a bottle of wine to enjoy along with the remaining room-temperature pizza slices I’d saved from lunch.  But fate seemed to have other plans for my evening as I pushed up on the corkscrew.  Instead of a cork, I had pulled out only a core sample of frustration.

If this has happened to you before, you know just how disappointing it is.  Half the cork is still in the bottleneck, half has turned into pulpy icebergs that you can’t scoop out, and none of your wine is going in your belly without cork bits in your mouth.  If this hasn’t happened to you, you’re lucky.  Or just more adept with a corkscrew than I am.  At this stage you could give up the ghost and dump the whole bottle, but there’s actually a very simple solution to this problem using a common household product.  Thanks to Maddie C. for getting me started on this idea.

Before you continue, though, make sure to smell the wine. When a cork is old and broken like this it’s possible the wine’s gone bad, and in that case there’s no point trying to save it. If it smells alright, then let’s get to work!

Go to the kitchen cabinet that has all your tea stuff and grab yourself a tea bag. Coffee filters could work too. If you only have tea bags with tea in them, you should empty the tea out before continuing unless you want tea wine. An herbal tea is probably your best bet for that.

Put the tea bag over the mouth of the bottle.  Don’t worry, it can still breathe through the filter.  I’m doing this in the sink because I might spill some wine in the next step.

Keeping a tight grip on the tea bag, tip the bottle up and pour it into your wine glass.  You need to keep the tea bag pressed tight to the bottle to make sure the wine pours through it and not just around it.  The wine shouldn’t be flowing more than how you see in the picture.  It’s possible the wine won’t pour through the tea bag because of air pressure, so if you’re having trouble just play around with the angle of the bottle or shake it violently until you start getting drips.

With this simple procedure, you’ll avoid all cork bits but still have a beautiful glass of wine. Make sure to drink your wine some place classy like your personal library.

And with that, it’s time to enjoy. Cheers!

Tastes good, don’t it?

Oh yeah, tastes real good.

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