If you’ve ever experienced a wine lover’s emergency, you’ve come to the right place.
We can all agree that wine is the nectar of the gods – it can solve nearly every problem, or it can at least make us feel a whole lot better about every problem… However, not everyone knows how to use their wine to its full potential!
Whether you need to find out how to open a bottle without a bottle opener, or if you can chill a bottle in double-quick time, we’ve searched for the most genius wine hacks and brought you the best ideas to help you up your vino game.
We highly recommend that you buy one bottle per hack, just so you can try each one out… for ‘scientific experiment’ purposes, of course…
Make nifty wine-cubes to keep your drink cool
Pour leftover wine in an ice-cube tray to make wine ice cubes that are amazing for cooling down your next glass of wine without diluting it, and can also be used for cooking! Throw one into a pot while you’re making a stew or a risotto for a quick flavour boost.
Or take the temperature down with grapes
Freeze grapes to chill wine without watering it down (and for a tasty snack once you’ve downed your glass!)
Use a wet tea towel for a quick cool-down
Wrap the bottle in a wet tea towel and pop in the freezer for five minutes. The wet towel will keep the cold in and make sure the whole bottle gets chilled far more quickly.
Or try salt for an even faster chill
Add a handful of salt to a bucket of ice water to quickly cool wine down – salt lowers the freezing point of ice, meaning perfectly chilled rosé for you in double quick time!
Store your wine properly to make it last longer
You should never store open wine on its side, by windows or above 21 degrees. Heat and exposure to oxygen will make wine go off quicker, and when a half-full bottle is on its side, more of the wine’s surface area is exposed to the air inside. Sounds complicated, but apparently it works…
Replace a missing cork with this plastic-fantastic trick
Buy a reusable rubber cork, or cover the opening with a square piece of cling film and secure with a rubber band, to reduce the wine’s exposure to the air.
No corkscrew? Open your bottle with a bicycle pump
Open your bottle with a bicycle pump – yes, really! Make a hole all the way down through the cork with a nail or a screw, pull it out, and feed the tube from the pump through the hole. Or, if your pump comes with a needle attachment, push that through the cork. Pump away and watch the cork rise upwards!
Your front door key can pop a cork too
Another way to open a bottle without a corkscrew is to push a key into the cork at a 45 degree angle, twist and pull.
And silverware can save the day!
You can also push a screw into the cork, leaving a centimetre out at the top. Hook the top of the screw through a fork, and gently easy the cork out.
Make it taste like you spent £30 more
Blend cheap wine in a blender for 30 seconds to make it taste more ‘expensive’, or to quickly aerate young wine that needs an hour or two to breathe. Fancy!
Shop for your wine on a weekend
Don’t buy wine at the weekend – a study in the US recently found that the best supermarket deals are around on weekdays, and stores tend to push up the prices on weekends. You could save 6% by switching to a weekday, which gives you lots more money to spend on more wine in the long run..
Sweeten a sour glass in seconds
Add pieces of pineapple to cheap, dry or sour wine to make it taste sweeter. Fruit absorbs alcohol really well, so eat the pineapple at the end for an extra buzz!
Get rid of those pesky cork pieces
Filter any bits of cork out by pouring through a coffee filter placed over your glass.
Soak up those stains
Video of the Week
Red wine is said to be one of the worst stains, but it’s actually quite easy to get out when you’ve got the know-how. Cover wine stains with salt and leave to absorb until the salt turns pink. Hoover up the leftover salt if the stain is on carpet, or pour boiling water over the stain if it’s on clothes. Then you can soak until the stain is gone. Phew!
Make a DIY flycatcher
Use an almost-empty bottle of wine as a fly-catcher – they’ll be attracted to the sweet smell of the wine inside, crawl in through the opening, and won’t be able to find their way out again.
Dry glasses with a flawless finish
Apparently you can dry your wine glasses with a coffee filter for a streak-free finish. Who knew?