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Drip, drip, no drip?

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Robin Garr

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Drip, drip, no drip?

by Robin Garr » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:34 pm

(From today's 30 Second Wine Advisor)

You pour your wine, you lift the bottle gently and, splat! A dark red Rorschach blot stains the tablecloth.

Has this ever happened to you? Heck, can any of you claim this has never happened to you? I've even seen certified sommeliers do it in fancy restaurants, and they are supposed to know all the tricks.

I've long since lost count of the number of wine bottles I've opened, and I think I've mastered the drip-stopping "sommelier twist," yet I hit our nice yellow Provence tablecloth with another red splat just the other night.

Not long afterward, as if to mock me, the Interwebs popped up an article about an inventor's new approach. Daniel Perlman, a wine-loving biophysicist at Brandeis University, has been enjoying his 15 minutes of fame thanks to his recent invention that stops wine drips before they start.

After much deep thought and taking some slow-motion videos of wine being poured (he is, after all, a prolific inventor and a physicist), Perlman and engineer Greg Widberg grabbed a diamond cutting tool and modified several glass wine-bottle necks, cutting a narrow groove around their circumference just below the lip.

A droplet of wine that would otherwise run down the side of the bottle encounters the groove, but can't traverse it, they explained to the university's BrandeisNOW magazine. The pesky droplet, stymied by the groove, immediately falls off the bottle into the glass along with the rest of the wine. Click here to read the full article, including a very short video showing the grooved neck in action.

Perlman is currently speaking with bottle manufacturers about adopting his design, the magazine says, but unless you've got a diamond cutter handy at home, I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting for the industry to adopt grooved bottle necks as standard.

What else can we do? Perhaps most practical until Prof. Perlman's grooved bottle necks take over the market, there's a handy-dandy accessory called WineDisc, a circle of shiny foil that rolls into a drip-stopping tube that you insert into the bottle neck to make a drip-resistant pouring spout.

You can get a dozen for only $7.92 on Amazon.com, and they work well enough that I just ordered a dozen more for myself. (Full disclosure: They don't always work, in my experience. On occasion, if you wrangle the bottle a little too enthusiastically, a blurp of wine will splash out. But they do reduce drippage about 90 percent of the time. With that caveat, I highly recommend them for the relatively small price.
Order The Original WineDisc - Pack of 10 Drop Stopping Pour Spouts from Amazon.com now for just $7.49.

Of course, we can all keep trying to master the sommelier twist, a move that's easier to perform than it is to describe. When you're finished pouring, while the bottle neck is still over the glass, give the bottle a half-turn as you gently lift it up - avoid the instinct to do this quickly - so any residual drops turn from the bottom to the top of the aperture, ideally dripping back in to the bottle. You'll also notice that sommeliers use napkins effectively, both to wipe the neck discreetly after pouring, and to wrap around the bottle to catch drops running down the sides.

At home, I've also applied the simple approach of working over a couple of paper towels or a cheap table mat. When the inevitable drip happens, at least it will land on something more disposable than our tablecloth.

I'd love to know how you handle wine-pouring drips, especially if you have a tried-and-true technique that I haven't mentioned here. Please post them. and I'll share your ideas in a future column.
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Steve Kirsch

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Steve Kirsch » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:39 pm

I keep a paper napkin in my left hand.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Robin Garr » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:45 pm

Steve Kirsch wrote:I keep a paper napkin in my left hand.

And a stack on the table under the pour ...
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Tom NJ

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Tom NJ » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:44 pm

I've always thought a teapot drip catcher would work just as well on a wine bottle as a teapot. Unfortunately all the examples I've found have been just a tad too small to fit over the neck of a standard bottle.

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Steve Slatcher

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Steve Slatcher » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:44 pm

I use the wine bottle version of the teapot thingy
Image

I have plastic disk "dropstops" too, but find the rings handier to use.

The only problem is that they will not fit around the necks of some bottles, in which case I often tie a sheet of kitchen roll around the neck. Fold into a triangle first, and you can do quite a neat job.
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Patchen Markell

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Patchen Markell » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:48 pm

When we're pouring over a tablecloth, we catch drips with a small, washcloth-sized kitchen towel that we keep in the drawer with the corkscrews and bar tools. We often pour on a kitchen counter, though, which makes that unnecessary.
cheers, Patchen
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Jim Grow

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Jim Grow » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:01 pm

I was given as a gift, a set of drip-stop dics's from Denmark and when they became unusable (i.e....lost) I made some more out of mylar cut into 3-4 " discs , which works just fine.
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Peter May

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Peter May » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:37 pm

For tastings we use the mylar discs, known here as 'Drop-Stops'..

They are effective, cheap, quick and simple to use, and it doesn't matter if you lose one.

At home I just twist the bottle at end of pouring.

I can't see that these clever new 'no drop' bottles replacing all the bottles being used, so they can't be a universal panacea.

(and what about bottles for screwcaps?
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YossiD

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by YossiD » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:12 pm

I use these kind of dime store ponytail hair bands.

They cost a song and you can even match the color to the wine. Also people think it's cool.

Once in a blue moon you might want to rinse them out.

Cheers!

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Bill Hooper

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Bill Hooper » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:03 pm

I'd be wary of those no-drip bottles holding up against the pressure of bottling and corking. Looks pretty fragile to me.

Cheers,
Bill
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Dale Williams

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Dale Williams » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:44 pm

I got a wine tools kit from a thrift shop years ago, a couple of rings as in Steve's post have gotten some use.
Yossi's pony tail holders are a great idea (I do have a pony tail, but don't use those!)
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Joe Moryl

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Joe Moryl » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:14 pm

While a bottle manufacturer might come up with a version of this, cutting a groove with a diamond tool is probably not the right way to go. If one wants to cut a glass tube, make a scratch with a file or other sharp tool: the tube can be snapped cleanly at that point.. So I would imagine the bottle as cut might be a bit susceptible to having that small lip break off if not handled correctly (e.g. something coming down on top of it during filling or shipping).
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Victorwine

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Re: Drip, drip, no drip?

by Victorwine » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:00 pm

Joe wrote
While a bottle manufacturer might come up with a version of this, cutting a groove with a diamond tool is probably not the right way to go

Totally agree with Joe, the “anti drip” groove should be “finished” while the glass is still "hot" (before it is annealed).

Salute

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