This is an all-too common problem. I wish I never had to deal with it. But it happens. Here’s the scenario: Someone has an older vintage wine. They’re very, very, very excited that the day has finally come to open this magic offering. Out comes the wine bottle. Then out comes the Waiter’s Corkscrew.
Or The Rabbit.
Or heaven forefend, The Butterfly.
In goes the augured instrument of evil, the coil. (Or the worm. Or the screw. Whatever term you prefer.) Anyhow, the point is, to an older-vintage wine, this thing is a weapon. Not a cork extraction method. It’s a weapon. It rips. It tears. It shreds. It is evil. The poor, sensitive, yielding cork does more than yield. It crumbles. The magic is gone, someone weeps. It’s like offering to help an elegant old lady across the street by giving her a ride on a dirt bike. Or running over her with a bus.
For ages now, I’ve been trying to let people know about the Ah So Cork Puller.
All of us here embrace the Ah So. It’s the ONLY answer to the question of safe extraction of vintage corks. I’ve fielded so many e-mails about this issue over the years that I’ve pretty much got a stock answer I can just paste in. We have a document on file here that explains how to use an Ah So. I’ve sent it out too many times. But as someone here at Ridge very wisely noted, trying to explain how to use an Ah So in writing is like trying to write instructions for tying a shoelace. The act just can’t quite be captured by the written word. So now, we have a video.
Please watch this video. And please, please, please use an Ah So Cork Puller any time you open an older-vintage wine, Ridge or otherwise. This will change your life.
And please note, all the cork extraction methods noted above are perfectly fine for new bottlings. But for an older vintage wine? Ah So. Only.