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Wine Advisor Express:
A sticky question:
Bottles closed with sealing wax

From time to time, most often when you pick up an odd bottle from an artisan-style French or Italian winery, you'll find the business end covered not with the usual foil or plastic "capsule" but with a shiny coating of sturdy but brittle sealing wax.

If you're like me, you consider this affectation a mixed blessing. Sure, it looks attractive in an old-fashioned, traditional way. But it can make a pluperfect mess when it's time to open the bottle.

You will hear a lot of alternative methods to remove the wax - chip it off with a butter knife, tap it GENTLY with a hammer until it shatters, or soak it in very hot water before trying to peel it. But no matter what you do, you're bound to end up with sticky shards all over your kitchen counter or dining-room table.

I've found the simplest approach is best: Spread a few paper towels or a cloth on your work area to simplify cleanup. Set the bottle down, and simply start your corkscrew right through the wax. Pull the cork up, and don't worry about the wax; this process should knock off as much as you really need to remove. Pick up and discard the towels, and you're ready to serve!

Express Notes:
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Express Notes:

This is Wine Advisor Express, the new, quick daily edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor, distributed Tuesdays through Fridays. To change your E-mail address, switch from daily to the weekly (Mondays only) distribution, or for any other administrative matters, E-mail

Wednesday, May 16, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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