Imagine tasting bits of cork in your wine. It sounds pretty gross, right? There are several circumstances that can cause cork to fall into your wine. Maybe your cork was faulty, or maybe the arid climate caused it to disintegrate. Whatever the circumstances may be, crumbly cork in your wine is no fun. Now, if your wine is corked, that’s a different story. In this circumstance, it’s best to just toss the wine out. But if bits of cork simply ended up in your wine, the situation can be salvaged.
The trick is to filter your wine. One way of doing this is by taking a cheesecloth or two and securing it around the opening of a bottle of wine with a rubber band, then pour. Hopefully, most of the cork will be blockaded by the cheesecloth. If some cork still falls through, you can use multiple cheesecloths. If you’re having guests over, you can filter the whole bottle into a carafe and serve your wine from that. If you’re enjoying your wine solo, you can pour the wine directly into your glass.
Another type of filter you can use is a coffee filter. Coffee filters are actually pretty magical. They were invented by a German housewife named Melitta Bentz. She wanted to make coffee that wasn’t too bitter but didn’t require extensive brewing. The super creative Bentz patented the coffee filter in the early 20th century and sold her new invention with the help of her husband and son. While the original coffee filter was made out of Bentz’s son’s simple blotting paper, today’s coffee filters can be bleached for aesthetic purposes. But don’t use the bleached ones to filter your wine! They can add weird flavor. Instead, use unbleached coffee filters. You can wrap one around a bottle as you did a cheesecloth, or stick one inside a wine glass and pour directly into the glass as pictured.
You can also use a cheesecloth or an unbleached coffee filter to remove sediment from a bottle of wine. Although sediment is harmless (it’s usually made of yeast and grape remains and other edible but not eatable stuff), it can thicken the body of your wine and deliver a texture you might not enjoy. Sediment is typically finer than cork, so you may need to go through several rounds of filtration to get it all out before your wine is prepared to your liking.