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The Wine Lover’s Daughter | Chapter 1: Thwick

The Wine Lover’s Daughter | Chapter 1: Thwick

My father was a lousy driver and a two-finger typist, but he could open a wine bottle as deftly as any swain ever undressed his lover. Nearly every evening of my childhood, I watched him cut the capsule – the foil sleeve that sheathes the bottleneck – with a sharp knife. Then he plunged the bore of a butterfly corkscrew into the exact center of the cork, twirled the handle, and, after the brass levers rose like two supplicant arms, pushed them down and gently twisted out the cork. Its pop was satisfying but restrained, not the fustian whoop of a champagne cork but a well-bred thwick. He once said that the cork was one of three inventions that had proved unequivocally beneficial to the human race. (The others were the wheel and Kleenex.)

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