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Food & Wine My favourite wine comes with a screw cap that won’t twist off. I’ve had to drive a corkscrew through the metal. Is there a better way?

The question

My favourite white wine comes with a screw cap but the cap won’t twist off. In desperation I’ve resorted to driving a corkscrew through the metal. Is there a better way?

The answer

That’s a thirsty predicament. There is nothing worse in this world than a wine-closure that will not open. I’ve got two suggestions.

Your problem appears to be with the perforated seam between the upper cap and the lower collar portion of the capsule. Normally, the two should snap away from each other as you twist, creating a Pavlovian cracking sound. Sometimes the manufacturing process results in perforations that are too few or not deep enough. Consequently the two metal pieces don’t snap apart.

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My first recommendation is what I call the collar grab. Place one hand at the base of the bottle. Then grip the collar (the portion of the capsule below the actual screw cap) with the other hand and twist each hand in opposite directions until you hear that joyous crack. Et voilà!

If that doesn’t work, my alternative strategy involves a rubber band. Grab one and wrap it tightly – doubling up in a figure-eight configuration if necessary – around the top portion of the screw cap (the actual cap versus the collar below). This will provide necessary grip. Grab the rubber and twist. Et voilà (hopefully)!

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