Choosing a Corkscrew
There are so many
corkscrew options out there.
What makes a good corkscrew?
Can a corkscrew help in appreciating a wine?
Does it really make a difference?
first, and best, corkscrew rule is: the Easier the Better.
are bad for the wine and even dangerous to the user. Others are just
a real pain to operate and make it hard to get the cork off the corkscrew.
The next rule is: Try Not to Break the Cork or
Let it Fall Into the Wine. That's
not as easily said as done, but a good corkscrew does the work for you.
All you have to do is operate it properly.
The last rule is: No Matter How Difficult, It's
Always Better to Struggle With a Corkscrew Than to Drink Wine with a
Here are some corkscrew
In my opinion, the
best corkscrew is the 'waiters corkscrew'. This is the contraption that
folds up into itself and is often given as a complementary gift with
wine purchases. This corkscrew is easy to carry and has 3 main parts:
the small knife section with which you cut off the top cover (usually
foil) of the bottle; the screw itself which goes directly into the cork;
the lever with teeth that you place along the rim of the bottle allowing
you to control the lifting of the cork. It is simple and never fails.
corkscrew is the more elaborate shape "with hands" that you press down
and then lift to remove the cork. Although popular and decorative, these
corkscrews are very poorly constructed and often break. But they are
foolproof - when properly used. When not used properly, they often rip
the cork or sink in too deeply forcing the cork into your wine. One of
the least appetizing things to drink is wine cork.
of corkscrew, marketed as foolproof, is the variety that just swirls
down and down and down. The screw is large and comes with handles that
extend horizontally off the top. The nozzle of the corkscrew, housing
the screw, is placed over the bottle (after removing the foil covering).
And then you rotate the handles sending the screw down into the cork.
You keep turning and turning until the cork is completely removed from
the bottle. When worked properly, the cork comes out smoothly and cleanly.
When botched, it is often difficult to retrieve the entire cork.
About twenty years
ago the asau corkscrew was developed in California. Small and compact,
this corkscrew has two long "tongues" that slide down between the inside
of the bottle and the outside of the cork. With a quick twist of the
wrist and an upwards yank, the cork is removed. If you twist or yank
incorrectly, the cork goes plopping down right into the wine. This
is the corkscrew used by professional wine stewards. It takes time and
practice, but the benefit of mastering this corkscrew is all the wine
you taste in the process.
popular corkscrew looks like a syringe. You insert the needle into the
cork and pump several strokes until the cork pops out. The concept works
by injecting air between the wine and the cork. When enough air is present
the cork gives way. This corkscrew is dangerous. Many bottles have been
burst by the pressure exerted against even slightly imperfect bottles.
In addition to the mess of red (or even white) wine bursting all over,
shards of glass can go flying. I recommend throwing these corkscrews
The list of corkscrews
goes on. Some are functional, others are decorative. If you've found
one that works, stick with it. Otherwise, experiment. The more wine you
uncork, the more wine you taste.