Usually, with a little care, I can open a bottle of wine even when the
cork has broken in half. Tonight, for the first time, I and the rest
of the floor staff were absolutely defeated by a wine cork. It was
crumbly–but ONLY in the center. After 3-4 of us had tried, each using
our own ‘trusty’ wine key, the result was a cork with a hole clear
through the center. The outside was still firmly wedged in the neck of
the bottle. The hole was too small to allow the wine to pour through
(if you shook it, you could get a few drops at a time).
This was an $80 bottle of wine, and the last one we had in stock.
We were about to give up when someone suggested we jam a straw through
the hole and decant the wine. With the customer’s permission, we did
just that and it worked!