Wine 101: Corkscrews

You have that bottle in your hand, but alas, this one has a cork in it! What is the best way to open the wine? 

I'm sure you've seen or used corkscrews plenty of times. The butterfly or winged style corkscrews do the job at hand but are bulky compared to others. What if I told you there were alternatives, great wine tools to open your wine just like the sommeliers do! 

The best type of corkscrew, in my opinion, is the waiter's corkscrew, which is used by pro sommeliers globally! It has a knife to cut into the pesky foil that is most likely protecting the cork on your bottle. Use the knife to cut around the lower lip of the neck of the bottle and then make one cut through the foil from the upper lip down to the lower lip you just cut through, and voila, you're getting closer to enjoying that beautiful wine of yours!

Next, pop out the corkscrew "worm" section of the corkscrew. Insert it into the cork center and turn it until you're near the end of the corkscrew section. Then you use the hinge that is on the corkscrew. Put it on the lip of the bottle, and you now have a lever to lift the cork out of the bottle!

The waiter-style corkscrew is the most used wine tool in my bar cart! If you wish to buy one, it can be found in most liquor stores and online. I recommend the double-hinged varieties, as they will allow for better leverage with some longer or just stubborn corks! Aside from opening standard wine bottles, many waiter-style corkscrews also have a bottle opener for beer bottles on the opposite side of the hinge!

Aside from this, you have other options. The Ah-So is perfect when you need to be extra careful with older wines, as the corks may be more fragile. This is a dual-pronged wine opener. To use it, you slip the more extended section of it in between the cork and the bottle, followed by the shorter blade. Then once you have wiggled the ah so down as far as it can go, you use the handle and twist it slowly and gently out of the bottle! And using an ah so is an excellent, different way to open your wine, especially when drinking an older wine. 

Of course, like with any bottle you open, always inspect the cork. Look out for any fragments of cork left behind in the neck or on the lip!

Now there you have it, the first essential tool the gentleman or lady should have in their bar/home to open wine as the professionals do!

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