Cork Retriever

Have you ever been trying to open a bottle of wine, when suddenly the cork breaks in half and the lower half of the cork gets sucked into the bottle? It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with the wine—if it was stored in a warm location and then chilled quickly prior to opening, the difference in air pressure between the inside and the outside of the bottle may be sufficient to create a cork-sucking vacuum. You can try to pour the wine around the cork, but it will invariably float up and block the flow—again and again and again.

Never fear, though: Available at good wine shops near you, says Bill Hunt, is a handy little gadget called a cork retriever. It has long, thin tines (usually three) with a slight bend at the end. With a bit of juggling, you can stick it in the bottle, grasp the cork, and pull out the offending half. This may take practice, but it beats drinking the wine out of the bottle through a very long straw.

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