I used to work in fairly fine dining restaurants, so I know some about wine. The problem I'm looking at is my step-father has an impressive cellar, but some of the wines are rather aged. I think last Christmas we had a couple bottles of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild or similar. I have no idea why he would waste that bottle of wine on my plebeian tastes, but he does.

The problem is the corks are really starting to go (the bottom of the cork is breaking down, but not rotten). He will spend about 30 minutes finessing the wine key (corkscrew) into the cork and wrestling it out. Invariably, the bottom of the cork will break and fall into the bottle. It doesn't affect drinkability, but we have to hear him rant about it until he's fished every piece of cork out before pouring into the decanter.

I thought about getting him a gas injection wine opener. It looks like most of these are based on nitrous oxide or argon gas, which wouldn't affect the wine in any way.

My question is: Would the needle used to inject the gas into the bottle be able to penetrate the cork but at the same time not break out the bottom of the cork that's in the condition I've described. Or, are these contraptions just gimmicks for the plebs like me?

NOTE: I realize that him opening the wine might be part of his presentation.

  • 1
    I think another option is the Ah-So type puller which is supposed to do a good job with weak corks. amazon.com/s/… – Eric S Sep 25 '20 at 23:37

I never used such a bottle opener myself, but there are wine bars (for example Le Millésime in Bordeaux) that use such opening systems to be able to serve wines such as old vintages from Château Cheval Blanc by the glas.

So I think this shouldn't be a problem.

  • There are two different gas injection systems. One injects gas which then pushes out the cork. The other injects gas which pushes out wine through a needle. I think you are referring to the second where as the OP is asking about the first. – Eric S Sep 25 '20 at 23:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.