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Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Vine Lines: A Swiss Army phone? Why not?

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I've just thought of a new app for my iPhone.

A corkscrew.

Well, why not? There's are all kinds of wine apps. The what-wine-goes-with-which-food app. The where-to-buy-a-great-bottle-at-a-discount-price app. The how-to hold-your-wineglass-and-avoid-looking-snobby-while-doing-so app.

So why not a corkscrew?

That would sure be a handy device to have.

There are all sorts of clever designers out there who I'm betting could make a killing with the Corkscrew-to-Di-for app. And I have faith in their ingenuity and creativity.

I'm not sure how it would work, exactly.

All I know is that I want one.

No scratch that.

I NEED one.

I found myself in the extraordinarily awkward position recently of having a fabulous bottle of wine to drink in an isolated location, and no way to remove the cork. I suggested my companion, who's usually quite clever with all things mechanical, try to MacGyver something up. She's gifted at this sort of thing, as I mentioned, so I thought, "Well, come on then, genius. This is IMPORTANT! Make something HAPPEN!

We had all kinds of tools at our disposal, but nothing worked. A wood screw just chewed the cork apart. And we couldn’t manage to bore through the cork with the wood screw far enough to reach the wine. At that point, even dripping it through a hole, microscopic though said aperture might have been, seemed more appealing than the notion of doing without the wine.

However, the long and the short of it is, that's just what we did.

We did — sigh — without.

And while that was a crying shame, it also proved two — no, three — things to me.

Number one, being a wine columnist and being without a corkscrew is an unforgivable sin. I'm mortified and frustrated and have sworn never to let it happen again. (In my defense, I got so tired of having my corkscrews taken from me by airport security personnel because I forget I had them in my purse, I quit carrying them. But that's really not an excuse. Just an explanation.)

Number two, no wine except Champagne or other bubblies (where there’s a lip on the cork to allow it to be popped off, thus negating the need for a corkscrew) should be allowed to be stoppered with anything but a screw cap. I've sung the praises of those convenient toppers before, and if the horror of the situation I've just outlined doesn't prove the need for real or plastic corks to be eliminated and replaced with screw caps, I don't know what does.

Number three, cell phones can do anything these days. And I see no reason why they can't be made to open a bottle of wine.

As I mentioned, I have no idea how this could be made to work. I’m as technically and technologically changed as they come. So I’m hoping some clever soul out there might be able to invent a way for a cell phone to act as a cork remover.

Maybe we need to think outside the box. I can see the inherent difficulty of having a standard corkscrew attached to the phone. A Swiss Army Phone wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. But perhaps the phone could produce intense sound waves inaudible to the human ear that would somehow vibrate the cork out of the bottle. It’s just a thought. But I’m urging all the app geniuses out there to see what they can come up with. If it works and is reasonably priced, I’ll be the first in line (online?) to buy it.

(And actually, even if the corkscrew app is pricey, I’d likely still buy it. It’d probably be cheaper than the collection of corkscrews I’ve been forced to leave at airport security checkpoints around the world. And I never, ever want to be without a corkscrew again. Of course, even with the app, I’d still have to remember to take my phone ...)

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 20, 2012

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I've just thought of a new app for my iPhone.

A corkscrew.

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A corkscrew.

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