Wine bottle by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

Once in a while, I open an old wine from my “wine cellar” which is just a wine rack laying down on the kitchen floor. I cannot open them for somebody’s special occasion because the humidity and temperature control doesn’t exist and the quality cannot be guaranteed. You never know the quality is good or bad until you taste them. It’s a gamble. That’s why I open them randomly from time to time for no apparent reason. Today is one of those days I feel like opening a 10-year-old wine, but as soon as I stab the cork screw, the cork starts crumbling. Uh-oh. The cork must’ve been dried out! I’m pretty good at rescuing a crumbly wine cork. It requires lots of patience. Stop, reposition, pull, stop, reposition, pull…if you repeat the process slowly, it’ll come out eventually without damage. But the repositioning method is not working for this wine. The more I stab, the more the cork crumbles. The disaster ending is on the horizon.

Ten minutes later, I’m staring at the opened wine bottle with crumbled cork floating inside, wondering what to do. How can I remove the dust? The strainers won’t work. The mesh is too rough. Should I throw it away? NO! I didn’t keep the wine for 10 years just to waste! I want to taste it! What should I do? What can I do? Suddenly, I got flashbacks.

It was a Boxing Day (a holiday celebrated after Christmas Day) morning, in Vancouver, Canada. My Canadian sister from different parents, Shelley, and I were staring at the empty coffee pot. After the food coma evening, we desperately needed coffee. We had coffee beans, but coffee filters were not where to be found. How could it happen? Yeah, right…we forgot to stock them. I don’t remember if it was a snowy or rainy day, or we were just being lazy, but going out to get a filter was not an option. What should we do? What can we do? After a hopeless moment, Shelley’s face brightened up. She took paper napkins, folded them neatly, and ta-dah! We got a filter. It wasn’t perfect, but it did the job.

When you really want something, you’ll find a way.

That’s what I learned from the Christmas miracle.

After an intensive contemplation, suddenly, I get an a-ha moment. Tea filter bag it is! Tea filter bags are single-use, natural paper tea infusers for loose leaf tea. I can cover the lip of the bottle with a bag and strain the wine. What a perfect solution! Am I genius or what?! Oh, how was the taste? Well, it wasn’t heavenly, but it wasn’t too bad. Either way, I’m content with the result.

Ding! I get an email notification. My application for the Vancouver Fringe has been accepted. Is it a coincidence? I don’t think so.

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