Let me begin by saying that this post is meant for women only. Men do not need to be taught how to smoke, open various alcohol bottles and be an ace athlete. ( Like Tiger Woods). They are born with certain superior knowledge. Well, on second thoughts, this post is for all of you who think Bubbly is a girl's name.
1.Though not necessary, you need an occasion for opening a bottle of good wine. Mine was a Christmas party. Invite your best friend, her mother, your cousins and who ever you think wants to have a good time. Whatever it is, the husband has to be conveniently away,on some official trip.
2. Raid your husband's cellar/ bar if one exists. If not, you can always hop across to the nearest wine store. Please note, if you live in Delhi or North India, send your driver or any other male to buy a bottle. People there think women who buy alcohol are all immoral. ( 703 walli madam to badi looje chracter nikli, akele hi wine-shine khridti hai ji)
3. Buy the most expensive wine you can get your hands on. Even if your tongue can't tell the difference, your brain can. You and other people will experience more pleasure out of your wine if you think you are drinking a premium and pricey one.
3. I strongly suggest you buy some complex sounding, unpronounceable French wine, simply because they are supposed to be the best. I have been told that a Californian Merlot or the Italian Chianti can be just as good. If you are using your husband's credit card to buy your wine, do not discriminate and buy both.
4. Check if you have at home something that looks like a bottle opener with two arms spread wide and a bottom that looks all screwed up. That is your wine bottle opener. Chances are your husband's bar has one. If not, send your driver again to buy it. Even if you live in Mumbai. This work is boring and should be left to a male.
5. Get your glasses ready. Remember, wine drinking is an art and you must create an ambience. Never drink out of stainless steel glasses. It spoils the whole feel.
6. You are not supposed to chill a red wine as much as a white one, but if you like it that way, go ahead and do it. Remember your ultimate aim is to have a good time.
7.Always remember the accompanying food should be out of this world. If you can serve low calorie stuff, your efforts would be appreciated more by your girl friends.
8. At the right time, with a lot of flourish, present your wine bottle. By this time, you all should have had some mouth-watering snacks and some pre-wine gossip session on men, clothes, men, make-up, men, getting old, men, and careers. ( Not necessarily in that order.) And no, I did not forget to mention the kids, the omission was deliberate.
9. Now comes the difficult part, so pay attention. Look at the cork on the wine bottle with complete concentration. If you stare at it long enough and hard enough and if you say your prayers right, it might, just might, open all by itself. If not, then get that damned corkscrew and start working.
10. Keep the bottle on a table and hold the hands of the corkscrew. Make sure you are holding them hard. Then gently, but firmly, lower the screwed up bottom on the cork of the bottle.
11. Now hold the head of the corkscrew and twist the head as viciously as possible. If at that time you think of your arch enemy, the job gets easier. Make sure the wine bottle is securely held. You do not want to break it before you can even open it.
12. After some savage swivelling, the cork screw generally gives up and raises its arms in complete surrender. You have to be graceful in your victory. Gently but firmly lower its arms and pull. You will see the cork has come out of the bottle. Hurray.
13.Now ceremoniously pour the wine into the glasses and silently thank god for big and small mercies. Remember to clink your glasses and say cheers before you take the first sip.
Note: Resist the temptation to break the bottle on someone's head if you fail to open it. You just have to be good at the neck twisting and arm wrenching part. The rest is rather easy. If you can practice that move on your husband/boyfriend first, your chances of failure will drastically diminish.
If everything fails, you can just give up and have tea instead. And while you are having that beverage, just offer your heartfelt thanks that you were born in India and not in Europe and you do not have to do this every night before dinner. What a relief.