how to break into a bottle of wine when you can’t work out how to use the corkscrew

Tonight I had a couple of friends come over for dinner and wine and chatting. We started reminiscing on all our secret drinking times that we had when we were younger (drinking dusty cans of whatever-was-available from the back of the cupboard/bottles of stuff we hadn’t ever heard of and was probably years old/trying to remove corks from bottles with a compass – the kind of compass you use for drawing circles in maths.)

The latter was probably one of the funniest of these “secret drinking times” (after my first drunken experience where we managed to get red wine on vintage curtains (and subsequently turn the stain blue while trying to get the stain out with Vanish Oxi Action), get me so drunk I sang Wonderwall over and over and over again, and then spew in my friend’s sink).

It was summer a few years ago and we’d decided to sleep outside in a tent…my friend bought a bottle of red wine (clearly forgetting the events that happened last time we drank red wine) and asked me for a corkscrew. I ventured into the kitchen where my older brother was sitting and casually started opening kitchen drawers pretending to look for something – anything, other than a corkscrew. I managed to sneak it back outside without him noticing (afterwards he told me he knew exactly what we were doing – damn. Busted.) and preceded to open this bottle of wine. After about twenty minutes of failing to get the thing to work we were considering all other options (including smashing the bottle). The next great idea was to try picking at the cork with the sharp end of a compass which just resulted in red wine full of tiny bits of cork.

Of course, we drank it anyway.

So today, three years on and supposedly wiser in the drinking world after a year of uni, we were faced with the same scenario. How that bloody corkscrew works I’ll never know. Something about twisting it in and wiggling it out, but regardless of how much twisting and wiggling we did, all we managed to do was bore a hole in the cork.

So we turned to google.

Safe to say we felt very much like a pair of desperate alcoholics.

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