Food & Drink

Wine hacks are for suckers. Here’s how to be a real pro

These days, we’re all about hacks. Food hacks. Life hacks. Wine hacks.

I blame millennials for overuse of the word “hack,” although they have definitely made up for this annoying habit by doing useful things like killing off Applebee’s, reminding us how delicious avocado toast is and patiently explaining how we can live without cable. Thanks, millennials! Although breaking up with DirecTV was twice as complicated as my divorce.

So about these wine hacks: Do they work? Well, some of them do. Some of them, however, seem needlessly complex. You can avoid the unfortunate situations that call for them if you just use common sense and focus just a little more intently on wine and when you are going to drink it.

Here are a few popular wine hacks and our much more practical suggestions for dealing with your issues.

Opening wine without a corkscrew

There are quite a few suggestions on how to accomplish this — use a nail or screw and pliers, use a picture hook — but the most entertaining hack is the one where you use a shoe to get the cork out.

Now I have been desperate to get a bottle of wine open in my time. But I just have to ask: Why would you ever let things deteriorate to this point? Just carry a corkscrew in your purse like a normal person.

Also, keep a corkscrew in the car, especially if you don’t carry a purse. Do it even if you do carry a purse (always bring backup). What if you want to visit some heathen who doesn’t have a corkscrew? I have heard such people exist, though I have not met one.

Also keep a corkscrew in your desk at work. I have a friend who has one in his desk, and he was a hero at the Miami Herald when everybody had to spend the night here for the hurricane. Let yourself be a hero, too.

And if keeping corkscrews everywhere is too difficult, for the love of God, buy screw-top bottles. Nobody will shame you for that.

A corkscrew is your friend. Keep one handy at all times.

Freeze grapes and use them to chill your wine.

This is a pretty good suggestion. It beats putting ice cubes in your wine and watering it down. You know what’s better, though? Keeping a bottle in your fridge at all times and being vigilant about replacing it when it’s gone.

Cool your wine faster by putting it in a bucket with ice and salt.

Again, the result of poor planning. The theory here is the salt lowers the freezing point of the ice and cools the wine faster. But just how much salt do you people have lying around the house? I’m lucky to scrape a few grains out of the shaker when I’m making margaritas.

Make cheap wine taste fancy by putting it in a blender.

OK, I feel like you’re really pushing it here. I don’t want any wine redolent of the blueberry smoothie I had for breakfast. Just buy better wine. Ten bucks will get you something quite drinkable.

Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays to use later when you’re cooking.

I’m sorry. What exactly is “leftover wine”? If you tell me maybe I can try this and see if it works.