What do you do when someone, who shall remain nameless, strips the cork on the good wine and you can’t get it out of the bottle on Christmas Day? Hypothetically. --Tammy, MA
Self, that is a good question. Frankly, I had no idea, so I called my local liquor store to find out. According to Bill Kane, store manager of Gordon’s Fine Wines in Waltham, wine that has spent too much time vertical is at risk of cork stickage. He didn’t actually say “stickage,” but I think we would all know what he meant if he did.
Keeping your wine horizontal during storage is important because it keeps the cork wet, flexible, and much easier to remove. If your fancy-schmancy wine opener fails you, Kane recommends trying a good, old-fashioned, hand-held corkscrew, and putting it in at an angle so you don’t end up tunneling through the existing hole. If that doesn’t work, try jabbing a paring knife into the cork and twisting it manually (careful with that). If that doesn’t work, use a clean screwdriver to push in the cork or pieces of the cork (you can always strain them out later) to create a pouring hole.
If that doesn’t work, and this is me speaking now, you are not meant to drink this wine. Pour yourself some Scotch and curse the French.