When you break a cork while opening a bottle of wine, little chunks tend to end up in each serving. Instead of fishing cork bits out of each glass with a spoon, reach for a piece of cheesecloth and a rubber band. Cut the cheesecloth into a 2-inch square, fit it over the wine bottle, and secure it with a rubber band. Then just pour the wine through the cheesecloth, leaving any bits of cork behind.
To keep drips from staining your tablecloth, make your own wine collar for the bottle before pouring. Start by folding a paper towel in half lengthwise, then fold it in thirds lengthwise (like a business letter). Wrap the strip around the neck of the wine bottle, overlapping the ends. Tuck one end of the strip under the other and pull the free end to tighten the strip snugly around the neck of the bottle.
Whenever you need to open a bottle of wine, set the bottle on a folded dish towel placed in the kitchen sink. Having the bottle at a lower level provides extra leverage for uncorking, making the task a snap. Like these? See more quick tips at Cook's Illustrated.