Sometimes you're just unlucky, right? And there's nothing you can do about it? Not so. You can tell when you're dealing with a weak cork and use a different tool: the two-pronged opener known as the Butler's Friend or Ah-So. Polling my friends with more experience in old wines, I learned that that lack of resistance as you drive in the corkscrew is the telltale sign of a weak cork. I drink mostly young wines, so I'm used to really having to twist. In fact, I can't recall ever having a cork crumble on me. So here's what you do.
- If you're opening a bottle 10 or more years old, pay attention.
- If the conventional corkscrew goes in too easy, unscrew it back out again.
- Open it with the two-pronged cork puller.
This short YouTube video demonstrates the technique. Enjoy your well aged wine!