How NOT to Open a Bottle of Wine

Every spring, I look forward to the new batch of rosés. The gang and I like to try different ones early in the season and then pick our favorites, which will become our wines for the summer. After a highly successful shopping expedition, we happily discussed which snack options would go best with our wine. The first wine we decided try was the 2008 Chateau Valcombe Cote du Ventoux Rosé, so we a bottle of it out to chill.


A short while later, we had assembled an array of snacks on the table out on my brother’s shaded deck. It was a beautiful afternoon in Austin: the sun shining, a slight breeze blowing. The tinny music floating outside from the old kitchen radio was perfectly complimented by the cacophony of birdie happy hour which had commenced at the feeder in the backyard.

The wine had sufficiently chilled, so I took the bottle out of the refrigerator and placed it on the counter while I gathered the glasses and corkscrew. In this short time, about a minute, the bottle had produced a fine layer of condensation – a testament to the already humid pre-summer season.

While I normally don’t have a problem with my height – or lack thereof, being only 5 feet tall – there are certain tasks which require some improvisation. A taller person, for example, can successfully open a bottle of wine while it sits on top of the kitchen counter. I, however, am not tall enough to have the proper leverage to pull the cork completely out while the bottle is sitting on said counter. Instead, I grabbed the bottle off the counter, held it by the neck, and used my upper thigh to hold it as I pulled the cork.

Remember the aforementioned condensation?It tends to make the glass quite slippery.

A bone chilling crash and a loud “oops**” sent my sister-in-law running inside the house. With a heavy heart, I watched the tiny rivers of rosé flowing around the bits of broken glass and in the grooves bordering the stone tiles. I looked up to see my brother standing in the doorway with a look of bemused pity on his face, while his wife performed disaster clean up. I was still too stunned to do anything but mumble to myself.

The worst part of this little incident? We had to wait for the other bottle of rosé to chill.


** Ok, I didn’t really shout “oops”. It was actually a colorful combination of expletives.

2 thoughts on “How NOT to Open a Bottle of Wine”

  1. DOH!!

    I once lost a bottle of Barbaresco that we’d hand carried back from Turin to Texas. Horrified, we watched the bottle slip from the car, shatter and the lovely wine run down the concrete drive. It was like watching a family member bleed out…

  2. i was bummed. the next day, i went back to the store to buy the same bottle. it was lovely!

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