Double decant question

On special occasions I have been in the habit of using an ah-so to remove the cork from a bottle of wine, decanting it, returning it to the bottle, then reinserting the cork to bring out to a nice dinner.

Today I’m having a belated Bday celebration- my first post-COVID night out- and bringing a bottle of Andremily No.3. As a young wine (2014) I wanted to give it at least a few hours out of the bottle, so I removed the cork and it is currently in the decanter. The cork was more difficult to remove than expected and has now clearly expanded, and I’m wondering how I will get it back into the bottle! Obviously I want to give the server/sommelier plausible deniability as it relates to the bottle being previously opened. My thought was to use the ah-so to get it started back into the bottle, then remove the ah so and try to push the cork all of the way in. However I’m not 100% confident of success. Any thoughts?


Clean end of another cork? It won’t pass the stamp matches the label/vintage test, but it’s your wine and you obviously know. I reuse other/older corks all the time when
the original one crumbles, but I haven’t taken it to a restaurant. Not sure how picky the restaurants are.

That’s a great idea, thanks! I have frequented this place quite a bit in the past, so they are likely to look the other way.

Your method involves popping another bottle since I don’t collect corks, but I have no problem doing that…I mean, it’s already almost 1pm here, and I am celebrating, right?

Maybe call the restaurant (and don’t mention your reservation or that you’re coming) and ask if you can bring in a open bottle of wine because you have to start decanting it before the restaurant’s open. A lot of restaurants by me don’t care.

That’s a great idea! Thanks!

As Anthony said, I use other corks all the time. If you’re worried they might think you’re switching wines, you can always bring the original cork to show them, I guess :slight_smile:


I usually reverse the cork and put the unexpanded end in first, but that leaves the purple stained cork on top. If you think they are willing to look the other way, this might at least give them the appearance of popping the cork themselves. Happy belated birthday! I too celebrated my most recent birthday with the #3 in a friend’s back yard.

I doubt the restaurant will even look at the cork to see if it matches, and if they say something about it, just tell them the cork broke. It happens all the time.

I’m not super helpful this time, but usually even restaurants that are only open for dinner have staff there in the afternoon pretty early. I bring bottles at 2-3pm all the time and tell them at what time I’d like it opened and decanted.

I take wine to restaurants and friends’ homes a lot. I never like to use the same cork or other corks because I don’t want to introduce to a good bottle some potential cork taint. I have a bunch of silicone stoppers such as these. They’re inert, and they’re cheap enough where if I leave them with the friend if we don’t finish the bottle, I’m not out much $.

Restaurants by me don’t mind if my cork is half way inserted. In fact, makes their life easier to open. 90% of the time I do push it all the way back in unless the wine has some age to it and the cork is fragile. To help prevent a cork from expanding, after I decant, I immediately put the cork back into the bottle.

Thanks everyone. With the help of the ah so I was actually able to get the cork most of the way back in, though it took some work. (Both tines to get it started, then just the longer one with one side in pressing down with the whole thing, hold the cork in, take the ah so out, rotate it, continue…I had not idea if it would work, but somehow it did.) Lovely night, kick ass bottle of wine, and one of my friends gave me a chainsaw as a birthday gift, so the evening was complete.

one other trick I sometimes use if I want to re-use the same cork, but want to decant for a while, is right after decanting, to ram the cork back into the empty bottle part way. that way, if you are going to let the wine sit in the decanter for an hour or two, then pour the wine back in, the cork won’t swell up in the interim. that way, you can later re-remove the cork, rinse out the bottle, pour the wine back in, and not have to fight to get a swollen cork back in.

For opening champagne bottles? No stinkin’ sabers for you! champagne.gif

Glad the Andremily rocked!!!

I would be cautious with reversing corks as I read somewhere that the end under the capsule can have bacterial or mould growth and therefore affect the wine when inverted.

Buy a couple of German rieslings that use the glass stopper. Those things are great to hold onto for moving around an open bottle.

These work well and are cheap. Lots of restaurants use these for their by the glass bottles. Putting an old (possibly brittle) cork back into a bottle seems like too much work for me.

And you can also use a plastic T-cork from a bottle of Port or Sherry. That’s what I use to keep wines overnight in the fridge and it would work well for taking a bottle to a restaurant too.

Clearly that’s an issue that I had never put any thought into, and I appreciate the enlightenment. Wonder how much effect it would have in 1-2 hours, and with little/no liquid contact since bottles are upright from that point on?

I wouldn’t know the level of risk, I have simply followed the advice and refrained from doing so.