Tuesday, March 19, 2024

News You Can Use But Maybe Shouldn't: How To Open A Bottle Of Wine With A Shoe

Sticking with engineering a bit longer.

Alternate title: Why the Daily Mail probably isn't the best source for all things oenophile.
The DM story is so chipper and upbeat you just want to believe:

September 25, 2017
No corkscrew? No problem! Woman demonstrates how to open a bottle of wine using just a SHOE and a hard surface

  • A YouTube video shows a woman in Alabama opening a bottle using her shoe 
  • After placing the bottle into her footwear, she puts the sole of the shoe against the wall to create a 90-degree angle and starts to bang gently
  • After a few knocks, the cork rises up enough for her to twist it out with her hands
We've all been there - you're just about to open a bottle of wine when you realise you've mislaid your corkscrew, or simply forgotten to bring one with you.
Genius: Holding the wine bottle in place, she puts the sole of the shoe against the wall to create a 90-degree angle and starts to bang gently
Melding power with elegance
Never fear, this simple hack will mean you never need to remember to bring one with you ever again.
And no, it doesn't involve a screwdriver or a trip to the shops....MORE
But does it work?
A quick check of Decanter's library came up with 0 articles on the technique. However there is a nice profile of the La Chapelle Hermitage, 1961 (£9,180 per bottle) in the current issue:
"Decanter’s Michael Broadbent, who tasted the wine in 1993, described it as: ‘Huge in 1967, fruit-laden in 1983, magnificent in 1990.’"

"In 2009, US wine writer Jeff Leve found the 1961 ‘€massive and intensely concentrated, with layers of rich, thick, juicy, ripe black fruits and minerals. The wine perfectly melds power with elegance.’"€
Continuing the investigation, a visit to the hard-core alkies at National Public Radio yielded "Can You Open A Bottle Of Wine With A Shoe? Yes, But It Ain't Pretty" with some considerations probably not not contemplated by the amateur bibler:
But does this parlor trick work with just any shoe — say, even 3-inch heels? And if so, what's the physics behind the cork-popping action?
Verdict: Not fāke news in the strict sense but more likely a reflection of Alabama wine country terroir and culture.