How to Open a Bottle of Wine? Etiquette Chapter 1

By Brian Lemay 9 comments

What is up guys?
Julien Miquel here of Social Vignerons. Welcome back to another wine video.
This is episode number 2 of…. Julien’s 3.5 Minute Wine School, this new
series where we are going to learn together, everything you need to know
about wine. So I released episode number one of the
series last Friday, which was about how to taste your wine better. And I was
initially thinking that I would make episode number 2, this episode here,
about why you should take time to enjoy wine, and enjoy it better. And we will
definitely get back to this because I think this is one of the most important
point for enjoying wine better. But many of you after episode #1 asked me
to go back even more to the essential wine basics, like wine
etiquette. And since the idea here is to share everything I know about wine,
it only makes sense to start even more from the beginning and cover more of the
basics first. So today we are definitely going to back to the basics. I am going
to show you how to open a bottle of wine! So really really getting back to the
basics! So first step when you have a bottle of wine is to remove what we call
the foil, or some call it the capsule. There are actually five different ways
to do this, and I am going to take you through them one by one. I’m also
going to show you which one kind of corresponds to the etiquette, which one
you do want to do in front of people, and which ones you don’t want to do in front of people. So the first way, which is probably one of the easiest, is to simply
pull on the capsule, just this way! You just grab the capsule and most of the
time it’s just going to come off. Just like this. Sometimes the capsule is going
to be a little too tight. This is more if you have to open many many bottles of
wine. So this is more of a backstage process, when you’re having large tastings,
and you have to open a large number of different bottles of wine.
You can just pull the capsules out this way. Easy! Fast and super easy. But don’t
really do that in front of guests. It looks a little bit rural, a little bit
casual, and I wouldn’t recommend doing it in front of wine connoisseurs and
wine professionals. Way number 2… unfoil, remove the foil form a bottle of
wine, is to use what is called a foil cutter. So I’ve got one here that is
attached to a corkscrew, but you can find some that come by themselves. This is
just to cut the upper part of the foil. So, you just apply your foil cutter.
Put it around the top of the bottle. just like this… This accessory has four
different blades that are just going to come around the top of the bottle.
From there you just cut the top and this is what it normally looks like. This is a
very handy tool. If you find a corkscrew… that’s got one on it already, this is
very very good, so you don’t have to have two accessories. You can see how
clean, nice and clean the foil gets cut with this accessory in just two seconds!
So definitely an excellent, excellent way. Definitely do that this is part of the wine etiquette.
You can do that in front of people. Way #3 to remove the capsule of a bottle of wine,
or the foil I should say… is to use a knife. Some cork screws
come with a knife but you could use a normal kitchen knife to do this.
Third way and some people do that, is just to cut through the whole foil,
just like this. I’m not very used to doing this, I don’t do this very often.
But this is kind of… you just cut through the foil and then you can just remove it,
just like this! This is okay, this is… kind of acceptable, but not really in the wine etiquette.
Again don’t do this in front of people… who really enjoy wine, or if you’re
opening a fancy, expensive bottle of wine. I guess the good thing if you do this,
is that you can actually see your cork and you can see whether the cork is damaged.
Especially on red wine… you are going to be able to see
whether the wine has gone up, and you are going to be able… to see if your cork is damaged
and starting to crumble or not. This way has this advantage, but it’s, again,
more of a backstage way to do it. The 4th way… Is that the fourth way?
Yes, the 4th way to cut the foil is to use the knife and this is going to be
more of the sommelier way, more of the normal way, the way most people do it.
You have the choice, and there’s a bit of a debate on whether to cut it on the
first edge on top of the bottle or use the second edge. If you’re really good
you may want to target the middle but then it’s hard to cut it really cleanly
and straight around. So you want to use one of these two edges. First way is
to use the first edge on the very top. Normally, if you want to do it properly,
you want to do only two cuts, one cut this way… and then a second cut that way.
From there your capsule should just come off. The fifth way is to use the
bottom and the second edge. so I’m going to be using the second edge. Here you
just go around the edge, down here at the bottom, and then pull your capsule all the way off.
Here you go. It’s done! I find that if you use the second edge, the drop,
while you pour, is going to tend to stay here, and be a bit more clean while
you are going to be pouring. So I do recommend, generally using this second edge.
But the first edge is also going to be fine. Once you’ve cut your foil, now it’s time
for the fun part. I’m going to be demonstrating how to use a normal double-hinged corkscrew here. This is the typical Sommelier type of corkscrew.
Some corkscrews come with just just a one hinge and they are pretty similar.
So first, you want to insert the screw inside your cork.
So here you want the augur of your corkscrew, your spiral screw, to target
right the middle of the cork… So you want to put the augur of your corkscrew,
right in the middle… so that when you screw it in, it actually goes straight,
nicely straight in. Here we go! And then you just want to turn
and spin your spiral. If you want to go… a little bit fancy: you can just go like
this. Here you go! You don’t want to go too deep, but you do want to go at the
end of the spiral. If you go too deep, you are not going to be able to use the
hinge here. This is going to be particularly true if you use a single-hinged corkscrew of this type. Then you just put your first hinge here, and you gently
start pulling your cork out this way. Then you move your second hinge one
way up and you just remove your cork. Now, an important part when you’re
opening a bottle: the real sommeliers… are going to try to make as little noise,
as little a pop as possible, because because it’s a little bit classier.
So if you do want to follow straightly to the rule… the wine etiquette, and you want to sort
of look a little bit fancy, You don’t want to make any pop to your bottle of wine.
Otherwise, just pull your cork all the way out… that’s going to make an
even greater, louder pop. This is what you want to do if you’re more
in a casual type of meal or dinner. But if you want to do it the real Sommelier way you just want to pull it as slowly as possible…
so it doesn’t pop in any sort of way. Here you got it! Your bottle of wine is now open
and you can just enjoy it… This is just, simply, how to open a bottle of wine.
If you don’t have one of those but you have this type of corkscrew, which is called
an As-Ho wine opener, or a double-pronged wine opener,
I made a video on how to open one bottle of wine with one of
these. This is particularly appropriate for opening bottles of wines that have
had a cork that is starting to be eaten by the wine. So this is more for old
bottles of wine. So I will link to that video at the end. If you don’t have a
corkscrew at all, and we’ve all been there! I did make a video about how to
open a bottle of wine with a shoe, just a shoe, no corkscrew at all. This is more of a fun
relaxed video but I’ll also link… to tha video at the end.
Next episode that will come probably tomorrow, this is going to be episode number 3
we will continue with the wine etiquette, and I will show you how to pour,
simply pour nicely your wine, including using this little wine accessory that is
really handy, that is called a drop stop. This allows you to pour a wine without
dripping it, without any dripage, it’s also very cheap, quite affordable. It’s always
good to have one in your drawer somewhere, as a small, cheap wine accessory
That was it… for how to open a bottle of wine! I hope you enjoyed this video…
I’m still going to pour myself a glass of wine! I think I’ve deserved it
after shooting this video… and I will see you soon, tomorrow,
in the world of wine… Cheers! Santé!



Apr 4, 2019, 1:22 pm Reply


Augustine Pasin

Apr 4, 2019, 2:42 pm Reply

Great video, please keep them coming! I’d love a video about how to properly drink wine.

Debrah Diva

Apr 4, 2019, 4:17 pm Reply

Fantastic tutorial for all vino lovers!

What We Do

Apr 4, 2019, 4:21 pm Reply

Thanks for that. I open a lot of bottles of wine over the course of the year and I still learned something watching this!


UnderneathTheBottle Wine Sommelier

Apr 4, 2019, 11:35 am Reply

I'm team second edge of the bottle! By my personal experience, the wine drips less from the neck after pouring. I feel like the first edge can gather droplets if the cut isn't clean enough as you nicely said. Cheers Julien!!

Daniel Martinez

Jun 6, 2019, 7:01 am Reply

D'accord Julien! Only the 4th method and I also agree the second lip is best for the foil cut, makes it much easier to face label front through the process . And zero sound on cork removal, even with sparkling wines, unless it is set off of festivities, Sparkling wines when properly uncorked should make only the sound of a soft kiss.

Chefs backyard

Oct 10, 2019, 2:47 am Reply

thank you again!

Chefs backyard

Oct 10, 2019, 2:51 am Reply

I really like the 2and foil cutter. I do not like the serrated cutters, they are tearing up the foil in my opinion.

Albert Blue

Oct 10, 2019, 12:27 am Reply

Great content but too much talking, it distracts from the lesson..

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