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How to Use Port Tongs

If you are anything like me, you love to open bottles of wine.  There are many ways to open a bottle of wine and extract the sweet nectar that lies within.  There are many options at your disposal:  a corkscrew, an Ah-So, a Champagne Saber, a screw and hammer, and even a shoe to open up a wine bottle.  My favorite, however, is the port tong. 

            What exactly are Port Tongs?  Port tongs are a pair of iron rods connected at a fulcrum; the end or tip of the tongs is circular to fit the neck of the bottle.  Before you proceed, you will need a pair of port tongs (usually only obtainable through antique stores, European markets, or the interwebs), a red-hot fire, a bottle of port, an old rag, a glass of ice water, and a shaving brush. Bonus points if the shaving brush is made of beaver hair.

            To begin, place the end of the tongs in the fire until it becomes red hot.  While the tongs are heating up, remove the foil, wax, and tax strips completely from your bottle.  Once the tongs are nice and toasty, remove them from the fire.  With the bottle upright, squeeze the mouth of the tongs around the neck cautiously, and repeat this process again turning the bottle a 90 degree turn.  Dip the beaver hair brush in the ice water and apply to the neck of the bottle. You will hear a crack or ping, the glass will break, and the fruits of your labor that are within the bottle will be released.

            Pour the wine into a decanter and then serve your friends. Your newly acquired tong skills and sophistication are sure to impress everyone at your next gathering.  Enjoy!

®Burg Wine Limited LLC