Stews, I am so excited to be discussing all things wine with the incredible Kim! She’s a wine connoisseur from Australia who started working on yachts as a service stewardess in Feb 2017. We first met through Instagram, just before Kim took her first yachting position on M/Y Alfa Nero. We met up for cocktails in Barcelona a few years ago & seriously, this girl is such a GEM!
Whenever I interview Stewardesses, they typically bring up wanting to learn more about wine! So I reached out to the wine expert herself, Kim and together, we have put together a four-part training series to help your service team excel.
Today is all about OPENING A BOTTLE OF WINE.
Thank you, Kim, for sharing your knowledge with everyone!
Wine is something that most of us dabble in (especially on those rare days off during the season!), there are a few who feel slightly confident in and then others who find it completely scary and daunting but it need not be! I’ve compiled a few little helpful tricks of the trade to hopefully make wine and it’s service a little more approachable
Opening of the wine
Having to open a bottle of wine in front of guests can be rather intimidating. The best thing to do before or between trips is practice – I’m 100% certain your crewmates will be more than happy to drink bottle after bottle of rosé if you ask them too. If you’re like me and come from the New World part of wine where screw caps are life, cork closure and having to use corkscrews can be something of a new. But it’s all in the technique…
Removing the foil. I highly recommend buying a foil cutter, they are cheap, easy to use and mean a perfectly clean cut on top of the bottle. If you don’t have one (buy one!), use the knife on the corkscrew to cut the foil on the first little lip of the bottle so you’re literally just taking the top off. I was always taught, if you do make a mess and the cut isn’t perfect (which happens to the best of us) simply remove the whole foil covering of the bottle, better to have nothing on there than to have something that isn’t perfect and looks messy.
Corkscrews. I always suggest a waiters friend corkscrew as they are designed to be used in one’s hands, rather than needing the bottle to be rested on a table. And honestly, they are the most user-friendly, but with all things make sure it is of good quality. When inserting the spiral, or “worm” as it’s called, screw all the way down until you’ve gone completely through the cork. This helps to break that little bit of an airlock and will usually help the cork come out a bit easier. Then turn back the corkscrew until you can get the first handle of the corkscrew onto the lip of the bottle and pull, lightly and sometimes with a little wiggle, the cork will ease its way out.
So what happens when the cork breaks?
In the event of the cork breaking, which again happens and sometimes through no fault of our own, place two fingers on either side of the worm when screwing it back into the cork. This is to take the pressure of the corkscrew and stop you from pressing the corkscrew down too hard into the cork and simply pushing it into the wine. You should just then be able to lift the cork out.
Help! We have a REALLY old wine onboard?
If you’re dealing with very aged bottles of wine, it best to look into buying an Ah So Corkscrew, it’s the one with the two prongs that go either side to prevent the cork falling apart. Also, if the budget allows, look at getting a Coravin system (something to google if you are interested).
Click HERE: For Part 2 ~ Decanting