The question: What's the best way to remove the capsule around the top of a wine bottle?
The answer: A question close to my heart. Sometimes feel I spend half my life tearing at capsules. The best way is …
Just strip the whole thing right off. Don't bother cutting it the fancy, laborious way with a tidy circular slice near the top. I don't know who came up with that tradition, but it serves no good purpose. In restaurants, waiters like to preserve as much of the bottle's original look as possible, leaving most of the capsule on the neck for presentation purposes. At home, one need not be so artful.
I simply take the little knife-like blade on a classic "waiter's friend" corkscrew (those contraptions that look like a Swiss Army knife), insert the sharp point under the base of the capsule, where it meets the glass on the neck, and flick outward to start a tear. Then I strip the torn end upward in a circular motion to remove the whole shebang. Flick and strip – it's faster than cutting a perfectly round cylinder off the top and, for what it's worth, I think it makes the bottle look cleaner.
E-mail your wine and spirits questions to Beppi Crosariol. Look for answers to select questions to appear on The Globe and Mail website.