Oh, wine. The mystique of your magical elixir has delighted us for thousands of years. You’ve inspired centuries of art, poetry, mythos, babies and hangovers. And yet, it’s only until the early 21st century that the Listicle has defined your true meaning and significance. What a time to be alive! Here then are 10 Amazing Wine Life Hacks That Will Literally Change Your Life (all of which are true and astounding, as exemplified by the capital letters in each title):
#1 If you want to store champagne overnight, simply place a fork in the bottle.
There’s no such thing as putting the cork back in a champagne bottle, as the cork flares out in this crazy, instant-Viagra way the moment you pop it. So take a fork, stick it in the bottle (handle-side down, of course), put it in the fridge and I swear to God, the wine won’t lose a single bubble. I’ve even done this for three days straight with amazing results. How does it work? Because science.
#2 Chug that glass of champagne and remember to SWABAL.
So, the ex sent you a text and said the kids are going to take a more active role in the meth lab? Drink that glass, set the phone down and SWABAL: Stop. Walk Away. Breathe. Act Later. The best thing a shrink ever told me was this: The angry voice yelling inside you is your Baggage Voice; the quiet voice whispering inside you is your Wise Voice. When you feel like taking your M2A1-7 Army standard issue flamethrower to your ex’s Toyota Corolla, that’s not the Wise Voice talking. So stop for a moment, walk away from the situation, breathe (a lot), and act on the whole thing later. You’ll find that the flamethrower won’t seem so…necessary.
#3 Swirl your wine glass with the base on the table to avoid spilling
My buddy Paul swirls his wine glass with a detached, casual grace that literally turns women on. I don’t. When I swirl, I look like I’m trying to stir pancake batter in a bowl the size of a kiddie pool. And half the time the wine tops the rim and splashes everywhere. You can avoid this problem by simply keeping the base of the glass squarely on the table top while you swirl. You look totally cool doing it and the laws of physics prevent the wine from spilling out of the top. Science…who knew?
#4 Now lift that glass from the table, drink it, and stop playing Who Did Who The Most Wrong.
When a relationship goes south, the urge is to let everyone around you know all the heinous emotional crimes that were perpetrated on you. This urge is second only to texting the ex and rehashing The Great History Of Your Injustice, usually after three or four glasses of Pinot Blanc (4a: Avoid Pinot Blanc after a break-up. Alsatian wines are Instigator Wines in general). But here’s the thing: Nothing good ever comes of this game, and in the end, there is no Dungeon Master who determines the winner, and then gives said winner his life back. Nor is it scribbled on the Almighty Karmic Text that Party A was more righteous than Party B, ergo Party A gets…a party. Or something. So don’t play the game. That you can do. That you’re in control of.
#5 Breathe into a wine bottle as you place the cork in it to preserve the remaining contents longer
It looks a little kinky, but place the cork halfway over the top of the bottle, exhale into it, and then seal it up the rest of the way. What you’re doing is pushing the O2 out of the bottle and replacing it with a higher level of CO2, which doesn’t affect alcohol. You can reduce the amount of oxygen in the bottle by up to 25% this way. And yes, placing the bottle in the fridge can help preserve it even longer, red wine included. And speaking of excellent wine hacks, try not to burp your Chile Verde into the bottle at the same time. This kinda defeats the purpose.
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#6 Instead of storing the remaining contents, finish the bottle and remember you are not defined by your tragedy
We have this annoying habit of saying things like “I’m divorced,” and “I’m unemployed,” in the same way we say “I’m John” and “I’m totally freaking handsome.” But tragedies don’t have to be what define us; they are things that happened throughout the course of our lives. Yes, tragedy is part of the human experience, but the extent to which it changes us and the way we interact with the world is our choice. So drink up and—in the words of Elsa, Disney Princess and WSET 3 grad—let it go.
#7 Stop with all these funky-ass Wine Hacks About How To Open a wine bottle without a corkscrew and just push the cork into the bottle
Seriously, the Shoe Method is one of those terrible wine hacks that lead to shoe-sized holes in your wall and the Key Method leads to bent keys. Take a wooden spoon and slowly push the handle down into the cork until it slips into the bottle. Slowly is the concept here or wine splashes everywhere. Also remember that when you push a cork into a full bottle, the cork may block the wine coming out, so be careful pouring that first glass or you’ll be buying a new carpet along with that missing wine key.
#8 Remember, when buying a wine key, you have control over the kind you buy, not the person selling it to you
You want one of those wood-embossed wine keys with the tiny serrated knife that cuts the wine foil? Awesome. Go get you some. You want that guy behind the register at the wine key store to give you $500 and the Secret To The Universe? Not gonna happen. The only thing you have control over in this life is your actions and reactions (see numbers two and four for a refresher course). Just as important, remember the opposite is true as well: No one has control over your actions, either.
#9 If you find a $4 Cabernet at Trader Joes that you love, run back and buy ten more immediately
Same goes for any inexpensive, store-branded wine from any similar kind of store (not inexpensive name brands from major chain stores). I get calls from friends who say, “Dude! I just had this Trader Joes Cab that was amazing! It’s as good as anything from Napa!” But then they go back the following week and the same bottle sucks harder than a Dyson Ball Vacuum Cleaner.
That’s because this $4 Cabernet is blended from bulk wine sourced from all over Hell’s Half Acre, therefore no two batches ever taste the same. So here’s your wine hack: a “batch” can be in the neighborhood of ten thousand gallons, meaning the three cases on the shelf are probably from the same batch. Take the $4 Cab home, taste it, and if you like it, run back to the store right now and get the rest. Chances are, you’ll get the same juice you loved.
#10 Invite a friend over, share that $4 Cabernet, and remember: You got this.
Have I told you lately how awesome you are? You’ve totally got this. And it’s not just the wine talking. Ok, maybe it’s the wine talking a little bit, but damnit, listen to the wine, because it knows what it’s talking about.
Seriously. Listen to the wine. You’re going to be fine. You got this.
OK. I’ve put my M2A1-7 back in the closet. I need the name of that shrink.
Great post, John! I can surely relate.
Thanks! One less flamethrower in the world is a good thing 🙂
🙂 I’m trying to catch up on reading past posts of Pairs with Life but I couldn’t resist reading your latest page of fabulous words this fine Monday morning. I’m totally laughing my ass off… again! Love the hacks too!
Thanks!! Lots of love!!
Great article. Great site! I’m not sure if this qualifies as a “hack,” but I (almost) never bring out a decent third bottle of wine when we are having another couple over. The first two bottles are good stuff from the cellar, but the third is inevitably $3 Chuck – Shiraz also from the cellar. No one has either been the wiser or cared if they were.
I’m with you! By the third bottle, it’s all good!
here is one for you, if you open a bottle and it is really tight and don’t (can’t) want for it to breath and open up, swirl some water in your glass and then pour the wine the water helps to oxygenate the wine!