- World Of Wine
- Season 1
- Episode 9
Every Wine Tool a Sommelier Uses
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Shop for the wine tools André uses!
Durand Wine Opener https://amzn.to/3HXxmcu
Cellar Rat Candle Holder https://amzn.to/34QxXOS
Hip Wine Decanter https://fave.co/3HXxqZM
Le Chateau Wine Decanter https://amzn.to/3uTLwb3
Glass Decanters with Wood Stoppers https://fave.co/3uPrcro
Stainless Steel Tea Strainer https://amzn.to/3HXdDdd
2.8" Dia Metal Mesh Strainer Loose Leaf Tea Teapot Filter Infuser https://fave.co/3JxrfMB
Fermtech FastRack Auto-Siphon Mini https://amzn.to/3HUbj6M
Silver Tone Metal Tastevin Cellarman's Wine Tasting Cup with Chain Set https://amzn.to/3517FJA
Winco WB-4 4 Quart Wine Bucket https://amzn.to/3GUxbNO
Franmara Wine Tasting Personal Spittoon https://amzn.to/3uR0mPD
Coravin - Pivot + Wine Preservation System - Black https://fave.co/34EmAd7
Le Sable Waiters Corkscrew https://www.winestuff.com/products/le-sable-waiters-corkscrew
Aldo Sohm Small Spittoon https://aldosohm.com/products/small-spittoon?variant=36145591713948
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Released on 02/24/2022
I don't know, is it me?
Does it look like an IV?
That it looks crazy? Doesn't it?
Hey, I'm sommelier André Hueston Mack.
And today I'm gonna give you a behind the scenes look
at all of my wine tools.
From the most common things that we might all use,
to the things only the pros use.
You don't need a lot of tools at all to enjoy wine
but there's more specific tools
that you need when you work with wine on an everyday basis.
So today I've broken it down into four simple categories.
Opening, preparing, tasting, and preserving.
So there's many different ways to open a bottle
But what we might have seen lately is sabering.
I like to show up to people's homes
with this little case here.
Has all this things I need to get the party started.
So the act of sabering is using a sword
to lop the head off of the champagne bottle.
This here is a makeshift sabering tool,
kind of blunt but very remnant of a knife or a sword.
It traditionally goes back to the time of Napoleon,
riding horseback, you know,
pulling out their swords
and sabering champagne was a celebration based on victory.
It's cool, it's fun.
You want to hit it underneath this lip.
So if you look closely at this bottle
the cage is attached underneath the second lip.
This is the first lip.
This is the second lip.
You wanna hold the bottle at an angle away from anybody or,
And you want to slide your saber
along the edge of the bottle and hit the second lip.
And as you hit underneath the second lip
the cork and the bottle will fly off into the air.
It's a clean break.
So the glass will break.
The cork will still be in it.
You'll let it fly off.
Do the pressure of the wine that's in the bottle
it will kind of blow any glass
or shards of glass that might fall back into the bottle
out of the bottle.
Champagne will shoot out and thus the party has begun.
You wanna make sure that it's really cold.
By being cold it helps the pressure shoot out.
And I think the biggest part of all of it
is just the safety of it.
Sometimes you've seen stuff where the whole bottle explodes.
So maybe you wanna wear a glove.
Like I don't, you know, there's lots of different things
but like safety is the key.
Make sure that the bottle,
the biggest thing is that the bottle's not pointing anywhere
towards any other people.
I mean, this can really take somebody out
and be careful and know that
the bottle can explode in your hand.
So there's some risk to it.
Maybe that's why people do it.
Maybe that's that's, you know, there's some fun to it there.
There's some risk involved.
And ultimately there is a little bit of mess, but like,
that's the fun part about it.
I'm not gonna open in this bar
so we're gonna take it outside to demonstrate.
I gotta remove the cage.
This is where you wanna be careful.
We have our saber here.
We just kind of wanna run on that.
Here we go.
You should be careful doing this.
This is why it should be cold.
There's safety rules for a reason.
This wasn't cold enough.
Thus, the bottle somewhat exploded a little bit.
Always always always make sure your sparkling wine
is super cold.
Not freezing but cold.
So if you have a sword or a saber
there's another way to open a bottle
and that's with a cork screw, a wine key.
Not only is it my preferred method
I think it's the world's preferred method
of opening a bottle of wine.
This is called a foil cutter.
You want to cut on the second lip.
So no wine actually comes in contact with the foil.
Traditionally, these foils contain lead
and you didn't wanna have any lead in your wine.
Since the rules have change
out of tradition we still cut on the second lip.
So you make two cuts.
That's one, go underneath, that's two.
And then we will make
what we call the C-section up the side.
And then we twist and turn off.
We're gonna open the lever, pull out your helix.
I always like to go off centered
and then press in and then turn.
And then we just wanna turn.
You want to turn the cork screw not the bottle.
And traditionally where that comes from
is in presenting this bottle of wine to a guest
you still want them to be able to see the label.
And then the first lever is the highest lever
and you just want to press.
So now this is caught on the first lip
and then you just pull up
and then you go back down to the second lever.
As you guys can see here,
and then press,
and then it's really almost out now.
And then you just take your key
and just turn and twist and done.
So this is a pretty special wine opener.
This is called The Durand,
named after the person who invented it.
And as you start to open more and more bottles
that have vintage, meaning older bottles of wine,
this is a must have.
And this is kind of cool
because this is a marriage of two basic wine openers.
This is a helix.
This goes inside cork,
helps you get a grip on the cork to be able to pull it out.
But generally what happens to an old cork
as it starts to decay,
gets stuck to the side of the bottles,
they become brittle and they start to break.
They combine something as simple as the helix
with this, a Butler's cork screw or an Ah-so.
When you look at it, it's just two thin blades of steel
that you insert in between the cork and the glass
and you kind of wedge down like this.
And then as you get all the way down
you twist and turn and you pull out.
The idea of putting them together was pretty brilliant
when you think about it.
Go in and just twist
and you have that in,
and now you want to insert the Durand,
always use the long side first.
So you just want to insert on one side of the, the cork.
And on the other side, you want to insert the other.
So now we have it here.
And now you want to kinda do this rocky motion
as you slide the blades on either side.
Now we want to take and turn and pull.
And so we extracted the cork in its entirety.
And this is really helpful,
especially as you start to get into
like older bottles of wine, you know,
the cork can be cumbersome in a way
especially using the traditional opener,
but this device is pretty brilliant
and one of my favorite things to use.
So this is actually a cork removal tool.
If a piece of cork breaks off and falls into a bottle
and you want to be able to remove it,
you slide this into the bottle.
As you get close to the cork and it's in your grasp
you slide down this and that closes onto the cork
and then you pull it down.
Opening this vintage bottle of California Cabernet
oh my God, the cork broke off in it.
And I want to be able to remove the cork.
In a professional setting
when you wanna be able
to present this bottle of wine to someone,
you don't want to present it with cork in it.
So I push down
and now I see that it's inside of the arms.
I can see it as I start to pull it up.
And then I start to pull slowly.
Pressing down this little lever here
as we have the cork in our grasp, and we pull.
That was actually pretty easy.
A lot of times it's a lot more complicated than that.
And these are all bent outta shape
but it's a tool and it got the job done.
These things run under $10.
And for a bottle of this price point, like over $200
you really don't want to be caught
without having one of these kind of tools
just to make your presentation right.
So we have a vintage bottle of wine.
So as a wine starts to age
the color and the pigment start to fall out of the wine
and it accumulates on the bottle
and it's what we like to call sediment.
And so you'll have sediment at the bottom of the bottle
and you want to remove that sediment from set wine
so you can have a more pleasant drinking experience.
So first thing we have is a decanter.
So you just want to have a clean vessel
that you can use to be able to pour the wine in.
And so we have this very beautiful decanter here.
But it can be any container,
it can be a pitcher that you could use
or anything like that.
This is called a Bordeaux shape bottle.
These are called the shoulders.
And as you start to decant wine and you do it slowly
all the sediment is trapped
in the shoulder of the bottle here.
And so that's an aid for when you start to decant.
We decant wines for several different reasons.
You know, we decant young wines to aerate them, right?
So we soften them up.
So they're more palatable.
We decant white wines to bring them to temperature.
If a white wine is too cold
you wanna decant that wine to kind of bring it down
to temperature in a very quick way.
We decant old wines to remove the wines from the sediment.
And what we like to talk about also in the industry,
is double decanting.
What you could do is pour out the wine into a new vessel,
take this bottle, dump out all the sentiment,
give it a light ringe,
kind of dry it
and then pour the wine back into it.
And that's called double decanting.
And this is kind of an old meets new.
This is called a cellar rat.
Very simple metal device.
And generally speaking
there's a candle that actually sits inside of here.
We took something old, a cellar rat,
and actually adapted it by using a flashlight.
And we do a little twist.
This starts to illuminate the shoulder,
thus as we start to pour
we can see the sediment start to move
from the bottom to the shoulder
and then it will give us more leverage
or knowledge of like when to stop pouring.
This is a way to be able to catch
some of the stuff that you miss.
So large particles or anything that kind of pulls through
we'll be caught here.
We have the light illuminating the neck.
Start to see some sediment here
so I'm gonna slow down by pouring slowly.
And now I can start to see
a lot of the sediment trapped on the neck.
And then we're done.
One way to be able to see what was left over
is we can use this little sieve here and just pour,
and then you get a better sense of like
what is actually left in the bottle.
So all that stuff at the bottom, and doesn't really make
for a really great drinking experience.
So you, you just want to remove that from the wine.
Yeah. It seems like a lot of work and a lot of tools
and complicated, but it's pretty simple.
And the end goal is really just
to be able to enjoy the wine.
And when you're into it, this is, this part is all fun.
And sometimes life throws you a curve ball
and you have
a really big bottle of wine that you need to serve.
So this is a five liter here.
This has some bottle age to it.
So this is from 2004.
And what's interesting about wines
that are bottled in large format
is that they take a lot longer to age.
And so large bottles come at a premium
because they last longer, it takes them longer time
for these particular bottles to mature.
So they're are coveted.
For something like this
you would want to leave sitting up for a few days.
As you leave this wine sitting up for a few days
all the sediment falls to the bottom of the bottle.
The wine needs to be removed from the sediment.
But the idea of being able to try to decant this wine
because of its size is pretty awkward.
You'd have to start and then stop.
And the golden rule when you're decanting wine is,
once you start, you can't stop.
So this, we would attack a little bit differently
by using a siphon.
We're gonna insert this into the bottle of wine.
We take the one end of the siphon
and put it into the decanter.
This has a little pump action on it,
and so we're just gonna pump the wine.
As we start to pump the wine
we start to flow, pump a little bit.
And now here we go, into the decanter.
So notice that the siphon
is not at the bottom of the decanter,
so it's not sucking out any of the sediment.
And now we have just a steady flow of wine
entering the decanter.
I know this is complicated.
This is so pretentious and over the top.
But this is a lot of the work
that kinda goes in behind the scenes.
I don't expect anybody to do this at their home.
Then as the decanter starts to full
we'll pull the siphon out.
It will stop the suction and it clears the hose.
My God, if that would've fell,
that would've been great for video.
All right, so now we're moving into the tasting portion.
This tool is called a tastevin.
And so generally the sommelier would wear it
around his neck,
kind of like a chain.
And this would be his little tasting cup.
Traditionally, when you go to wines that have a sommelier,
each wine is presented to you,
the person ordered it,
and then taste it by the sommelier to make sure
that the wine is sound
and it's correct and tasting the way that it should be.
And once that happened
the taste is actually poured for the guests.
I used to use mine as an ashtray when I smoked.
But this thing was actually a part of the uniform.
You know, you had your bottle of wine.
I presented it to the guests.
They said yes.
And I would pull my little cup around my neck.
And there's still some restaurants to this day
in New York city that do it.
They do it beautifully.
So they're not extinct.
There's very few restaurants that use these things.
And then you pour little taste inside the cup.
And then you would smell.
You would taste and evaluate, and then you would move on.
Traditionally, now what you would see
is the practice of a sommelier tasting the wine,
that's still something that's prevalent,
but they're tasting through a glass.
A really big part of about tasting wine
is how to taste like a professional.
We don't consume wine.
We don't swallow it.
When we're on the floor
we have a little spittoon that we use
that we spit the wine into.
This is a really important part.
And what makes you professional?
Being able to taste, evaluate a wine,
spiting it without becoming drunk.
And so it's pretty discreet.
You know, it's not,
you're not spitting from distance or anything like that.
You don't make any noise.
Generally this happens off the floor
or in a decanting station,
but this is a a really important part of,
of being in the industry and being a professional.
I mean, you taste a lot,
you taste a lot of wines.
If you're the only,
you taste every single bottle that you open.
I can't put a number on it, 'cause I don't know.
I don't remember the average bottle number.
But the average price,
I think we sold $17,000 worth of wine a night.
You got to taste all of these extraordinary
and wonderful wines,
and that was kind of the perk and the education of the job.
We've opened the bottle.
What do you do now?
How do you preserve it?
If you don't the whole bottle, does it all go to hell?
That's been the question
in the wine industry very very long time.
There's different types of things that people use.
We've have rubber stoppers that you put into the bottle
when you suck the air out.
And not one of them has worked as well
as what I'm gonna talk about next.
This is a coravin.
And this is a wine preserver.
It allows you to access the wine in the bottle
without removing the cork.
I'm a tech head.
I'm a tech guy and the idea of like mixing tech with wine,
I'm here for it.
Because oxygen is the enemy like,
so this is really what we're combating here.
Once you open this bottle of wine
we let oxygen inside of this bottle,
starts to attack the wine
and starts to break it down.
And once that's it it's done, so it, it starts to decay.
But this is one way to be able to not even open the bottle,
allow minimum oxygen to the bottle, if any,
and to be able to sample the wine
over the course of years.
This is a hollow needle.
This punctures the cork,
the wine is drawn through the needle
and poured to the spout
leaving a heavy layer of gas on top of the wine
so it's not exposed is to oxygen,
therefore not deteriorating the wine.
All the gases are odorless, flavorless.
The key element here
is that they're a heavier gas than oxygen,
and so they'll lay on top of the wine
giving it a layer of protection.
So we just clamp on here.
So we're in.
And now we just hold here firmly.
And then we take and push down and insert the needle.
The needle is in.
It's just that simple.
So here we want to just turn up here,
press the lever of the gas and wine comes out.
So a natural cork will just naturally reseal itself.
So the idea that we put a hole in it
doesn't leave a hole permanently,
it will start to reseal itself and be a tight seal.
I think for me, this was the biggest game changer.
I don't use it enough as I'd like to
and maybe that's because I'm greedy.
Like I open the bottle, we'll just drink it all.
That's kind of always my thought.
But the fact that like something like this exists
and that there was some real thought
and care that went into it.
There's different size needles
that you can get depending on what wine you're accessing.
If there's an old bottle of wine,
you can get a needle that's actually smaller in size,
so it doesn't allow any sediment to come through.
It's just really brilliant in a way that, you know,
I really haven't seen
and it's a real cool game changer.
As a professional, I love these tools,
I love to talk about them.
I wanted to be able to share them with you today.
They're fun when you're really into wine
and those kind of things.
But, ultimately just to get started
you just need a wine key
and your favorite bottle of wine and curiosity.
So New York people are just walking by. [laughs]
Starring: André Hueston Mack
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