Of course, these days, you may not always need a corkscrew, and to some, they possibly seem somewhat retro. But, many wines, especially ones worth investing in, still come with some version of a traditional closure. Tradition requires a bottle to be sealed with a cork and many established vintners still use this method today, which is why it’s handy to know which is the best corkscrew for the job.
Aluminium screw caps once sealed primarily cheap malt liquors and quart bottles of beer; today, they cap 20 per cent of the world’s table wines. Plastic stoppers have also surged in popularity, now accounting for 10 per cent of the wine-closure market. By some estimates, cork has lost nearly 40 per cent of the wine-closure market since the late 1980s, a loss most apparent in low-priced ($10 and under) wines.
In this article, we look at the different corkscrews so you can discover which could be the best addition to your wine tasting kit.
The Wine Key
Because this corkscrew has been around for some considerable time, it even has its own nickname in the hospitality industry. The Waiter’s Friend, as it’s known, is compact and transportable, making it the ideal companion for sommeliers working in restaurants to those at home who like to open wine with this trusted and mostly reliable old friend.
Although mass-marketed, this corkscrew is a little challenging to master. The blade must be placed firmly against the bottle and at an upward angle to cut efficiently through the foil seal. The corkscrew tip must also be placed dead centre in the cork and screwed in with confidence; otherwise, it tends to move to the side! If using this type for the first time and a little cork goes in the bottle, do not fear, just filter the wine through some cheesecloth, muslin or an (unbleached) coffee filter and enjoy. To an experienced hand, this corkscrew is an excellent choice, and there are varying standards available.
This one has many people divided. In some respects, it does provide more leverage with an arm on each side. However, cheaper models do tend to break rather easily. The benefit of this one is it gives a guide for the ‘worm’ to be placed directly in the centre and is incredibly easy to use, making it an ideal choice for many wine lovers. Simply place on top, screw drown, and push the wings down to make the cork pop up.
This is a particular favourite of wine enthusiasts because it is accurate and effortless. Because of this, they do tend to require a little more investment; however, they are worth it and do last a long time despite frequent use. This lever wine opener does all the work for you. It grips the bottle top on two sides; you simply lever the handle to embed it into the cork and raise the handle to release the cork.
Two Prong Cork Puller
This would be the ideal choice if you happened to have some old vintage wine that could potentially have a damaged or brittle cork. If you don’t want to take the chance, then this is the best cork-not a screw you can get. Also known as an Ah-So taken from the German meaning, Ach so!, now I understand! Wine professionals use this because they can guarantee with its use that the cork will be removed without damage and can then be replaced if required.
Finally, there are electric corkscrews. Why do all the work when a machine can do it for you. These have come a long way since they first came on the scene and can be an excellent addition, especially if you enjoy drinking wine regularly. Electric wine openers not only work well and are accurate, but they also look quite impressive too.
Which corkscrew or wine opening will you decide on? The choice is yours. Whichever you do, perhaps you would like to visit the Ideal Wine Company Shop and discover more delicious wines for you to enjoy or add to your collection.