The sommelier Jon William Herrera Hurt gives us some tips on how to understand wine bottle labels and shows us how to use the different BOJ corkscrews, as well as explaining why we must put a stopper in the bottle.
Important information shown on the label of a bottle of wine
The important information shown on the label of a bottle of wine is:
- Name of the winery
- Name of the wine
- Category of the wine
- Designation of origin
This information is found on the front label. However, the most important label is actually the one on the back, because that is where the regulatory board’s stamp is located, such as the one from the Rioja Regulatory Board, for example.
It has a range of colours that indicate the different categories that exist. In this case, the red colour tells us it is a reserva category wine.
This is the most important label. Without it, without this regulatory board stamp, this bottle of wine could not be sold.
Furthermore, it contains extra information.
Additional information on the label of a bottle of wine
Additional information such as the category type, production method, grape varieties and anything else the winery wishes to share.
After purchasing the bottle, having taken this information and our tastes into account, the next step is to open it.
Types of wine openers
At BOJ, we have several different types of wine openers. Here we will look at four of them: Owl, Bodega, Kea and the tabletop corkscrew. The latter is ideal for restaurants, bars and gastronomic societies.
The first step is to remove the foil from the bottle. We can do this with our BOJ foil cutter. A small twist of the wrist and the bottle is free. Once the foil has been removed, we take the Owl corkscrew and lift the levers. With the tip of the spiral metal, known as the worm, in the centre of the cork, we twist the handle until the worm is entirely inside the cork. We then pull the owl’s levers down and the cork smoothly comes out of the bottle. Before serving, the cork must be sniffed to check that the wine is in good condition.
As with the Owl, we must first remove the foil. Then, we take our Bodega corkscrew and with a gentle tap we let the entire worm come down. We place the worm in the centre of the cork and turn the handle on the corkscrew. Once the worm is in the cork, we turn it slightly backwards and lift the tab so that the cork comes out of the bottle in a single movement.
As this corkscrew includes a little knife so we do not need to use a foil cutter. We take out the little knife and cut the foil under the second crease of the bottle, to make things easier. We then open the first tab and pull out the worm. As we did with the previous wines, we position the worm in the centre of the cork and twist until it reaches the bottom of the cork. We rest the corkscrew’s first tab on the lip of the bottle and carefully pull out the cork as far as possible. We then fully remove the cork with the second tab.
We position the bottle in the small neck and then pull the handle towards ourselves using force. In the same way, we then pull it upwards, removing the cork from the bottle. This system does not fully pierce the cork so there is no risk of small pieces of cork falling into the bottle. It also leaves the cork in the bottle, but it can be removed with a gentle movement.
To prevent the oxidation of the wine, we can place our BOJ stopper into the bottle to act like a cork, meaning that the wine retains its properties for longer.