On several occasions, I've had the unfortunate experience of grabbing an old vintage bottle of wine, often one that I had been looking forward to drinking for some time, only to have the experience marred by having the cork crack in half or, worse yet, crumble to pieces while using a traditional corkscrew. The fact is that there is just no guarantee that a cork will maintain its natural flexibility and stability after undergoing many years of aging in the neck of a wine bottle. However, there is one method of cork-removal that is almost guaranteed to successfully dislodge a cork every single time.
The "Ah So," or two prong wine opener, is one the most under-rated and often unheard of tools in the bartender's toolkit and is something every wine enthusiast should own. Without it, you risk punishing yourself with broken corks and ruined wine experiences. It may look a bit intimidating or confusing to use but we assure you, it's just as easy to use as a traditional corkscrew and comes with the security of knowing the cork with come out cleanly every time. Check out this video of a bottle of 1986 Ridge Monte Bello being opened, which highlights the process of using an Ah So:
Easy, right? And best of all, you won't have to spend nearly as much as that great vintage because Riley's sells these wonderful wine openers for just $4.99! You'll find these handy little devices up at the checkouts and up in our wine loft near some of our cellared wines as a friendly reminder to have an Ah So! moment the next time you uncork a valuable bottle of wine.