A French sommelier has invented a product that, he claims, will make screwcapped wines acceptable to everyone. Even other French sommeliers.
Lucas Eucrosse, who works at Le Canard Mort in Montpellier, says the inspiration came to him after one particularly bad evening service when he came across six severely corked wines in just three hours.
‘If they’re not too bad we can usually pass them off as being expressions of terroir,’ he said. ‘But these were so dripping with TCA even Germans wouldn’t have drunk them. So I gave them to chef.
‘He has literally no palate at all…’
While TCA-busting screwcaps might be finding favour in some parts of the world, in France’s restaurant world they remain a big non-non.
‘The problem is you look such a klutz when you’re opening them,’ said Eucrosse. ‘It’s ok to look like you’re unscrewing a tube of toothpaste if you’re at home with a plate of mince. But it’s no good if you’re charging someone three times the price of the wine just to get it out the bottle.’
Eucrosse’s elegant solution is the ‘Screw You!’ – a pair of two-foot long ‘screwcap tongs’.
Silver, and with leather hand-grips, their inventor says they bring an element of theatre and expertise to the otherwise simple process of gripping the cap and twisting it off.
‘Because they are unnecessarily long, they are hard to use – and because they are silver they are expensive,’ said Eucrosse. ‘This is exactly what wine service is all about. The more pricy, esoteric and pointless something is, the more successful it will be.
‘Just look at wine rooms. Or water tasting glasses. Or stupid French aprons. Or tastevins. Or…[continues for another six hours]’
The Screw You is available for shipping worldwide for Euro249. A special ‘screwcap glove’, ‘capsule pocket’ and ‘presentation plinth’ are all available on request for an exorbitant fee.