Wine stigmata

I drink a lot of wine. Friends have talked about slowing down.

It's important to look at your consumption from a strictly medical perspective, and I do, every once and while. I'm not sure my intake is what I really need to be concerned with.

jesus wine christ on the cross markings from resealing wine bottles with corks by hand

I get these tiny lacerations on my hands from recorking wine. I recork wine more than most, I guess.

I remember I started hand-recorking in order to take spoiled wine back to point of purchase. Of course, these days I could easily go get a device like the Rabbit to do this -- I have friends who installed a fancy mechanism on their kitchen wall. But I stick to old habits. So whether it's wine which is tainted, oxidized, or simply off, I immediately recork the bottle with its contents.

I just shove the cork back down. Sometimes you need a good angle. A cork that has a strong and firm edge can help -- you go at it about 10 degrees from perpendicular with a little twist. But sometimes it's not that easy. The bottle opening can seem to be impossibly tight or the cork can look like it's bloated to twice the size it was before it was disengorged. Sometimes you need to work at it.


But anyway, the first time I put a cork all the way back into a spoiled bottle and returned it, the wine store employee I returned it to was alarmed. He either found it seriously fishy or miraculous that I recorked the bottle myself (I don't think he cared about the condition of the wine). He asked: Do you have a wine bottling system at your house? Is this some sort of illicit wine-returning operation is what he implied.

It's not like I'm putting capsules back on the tops (though I have managed some nice homemade versions of that too). But how did you get the original cork back in? I told him. It's not that hard. And it's worth it. It prevents spillage when returning a bottle of wine for thing. I couldn't understand why I was considered suspect for being a good customer.

blood blister injuries sustained by bartending and other wine related mishaps

Here's a mark on my right hand. Both left and right hands are equally useful in recorking wine.

Aside from properly sending back spoiled bottles, you need to recork unused wine well (and store it in cool conditions) if you want to enjoy it another day. This is an even more important reason for recorking. See this post for helpful information on the benefits and rewards of doing things right. Since starting this blog, I've been recorking wine more and more for very reason of optimal storage, though I do still encounter about the same amount of bad bottles to return. So I've noticed these marks on my hands more and more.

The next photograph shows both my hands on a night when the recorkings were numerous (and with less yielding corks than usual). I took this photo with my chin.

how to take a photograph using your chin only taking a photo of a photographer


Sonadora said...

War wounds!


Brooklynguy said...

You know, it's unsafe to handle corks with open wounds and then return them. I recommend a hand condom next time, also known as a handom.

Marcus said...

Wine is fine antiseptic for a wino's war wounds... I forgot to mention that Sona -- thanks for reminding me.

And Bguy is wise to write in too. I think I've heard of these handoms, sometimes known as gloves. Good advice!

Joe said...

Oh, there are so many inappropriate comments, but I will be nice - buy a VacuVin!

David McDuff said...

Skip the VacuVin(no offense, Joe). Just use your leg and the edge of the counter or an out of the way spot on the wall instead. Cork to wall, bottom of bottle to leg. Lots of steady force, a much more widespread pressure point and fewer battle scars. And don't forget to always put the cork back in wine end first. A harder task but far less likely to result in cork taint.

Marcus said...

Wine side down, yes David. I can't believe I didn't mention that. Very important.

I think that's why some of my returned bottles looked too sleek to be legit.