Old ( mature ) wine is the best

Corey, the question I always have when I read such postings…is not whether the poster (or most posters) want to “drink their wines” (I would hope and assume that they don’t) but whether they realize the limitations of consuming treasures en masse or with a mass of tasters. (The US paulee notes are an extreme example, but I can’t even read them at this point, as I see it as mass slaughter. pileon )

Good question – that’s sometimes the only option, but not very desirable as the cork often leaves bits in the wine. In any case, you then need a cork retriever unless you don’t mind continuously bobbing corks in your bottle, which doesn’t improve the wine a bit unless you’re aiming for a “corkiness” complexity. [barf.gif]

Btw , we were 8 tasters for 13 wines . So enough wine for everybody ( at least a full glass ) and not too much wine all together over the evening/night .

Never let the cork fall in the bottle !!!
If you do do, all the wine will be spoiled by the contact with a dirty cork, because corks which want to fall are not the clean ones !

When corks come like this one (Clos de Vougeot Bouchard 1961) I am able to have not a single piece of cork inside the bottle

Herwig, this is a fantastic experience. Sorry for the 1959 Pétrus.

With this tool and some other devices I am able to open every wine with nothing falling in the wine

Imagine that you let fall a cork like this one which is not the worse, you will spoil the wine

This is the cork of a 1969 La Tâche. If it falls, throw the wine !

Nothing from this cork has fallen in the wine

It was La Coulée de Serrant Mme Joly 1970 a fantastic wine.

Some of these corks should never fall in the wine !

This was a meeting of Rhone Vignobles a group of 15 Rhone wine makers who wanted that I share my experience with them. I have pulled all these corks (I was tired at the end !)

Not sure what the preceding are…are you recommending a particular corkscrew, Francois? If so, what is it?

Thanks for the pictures Francois. I’m thinking that what is needed to wrestle successfully with these old, crumbling corks is “lots and lots of practice.” [cheers.gif]



What '59 Madeira was it?

If the cork is loose enough where it wants to go in, the trick is to start the worm into the cork very gingerly, letting the sharpness and slickness of the worm do the work instead of pushing down. It’s definitely possible with some practice. This is where the Durand or any other well made worm works well due to their sharpness and the slickness of the coating on the worm. Once you have the worm in, just pull up and don’t even use the Ah-So portion of the Durand because the cork is going to come out easily due to its looseness. I do this all the time with old port corks and it works well. If the cork is still sticky to the bottle, that’s where the Ah-So portion of the Durand really comes through.

I dunno – a good percentage of the 30+ year old bordeaux bottles I tackle end up looking like the corks in Francois’ photos – the worms want to pull through the crumbly mess. Of course that’s where the Ah-So comes in, and I’m sure the Durand’s Ah-So is fine for that. Yes, practice, practice.