Not sure which wine opener to go for? Or you have inhereted a few awkwardly looking corkscrews and you are not sure how to use them. Whichever one it is, below we have outlined detailed instructions on how to use 11 different wine openers.
Similar to any buying decision where lots of options are available, information gathering, and analyzing what’s available against your needs will certainly lead to a solution that is not only functional but satisfying. Let’s take a walk through different types of corkscrew wine openers available in the market today.
Electric Wine Opener
Electric wine openers are battery-powered, motorized excellent alternatives. They generally come fitted with a recharging base making them always ready for use. They are easy to operate although typically designed to be used on a countertop and not for storing in a drawer.
How To Use:
- They are fairly simple and very easy to use because they involve a corkscrew that spins around on its own when you press the button.
- The process of extraction is easy as they practically require no muscle strength. These make them the perfect choice for any person with limited dexterity or the elderly.
Electric wine openers are fairly economical appliances and the only effort needed is to ensure they are kept charged or the batteries replaced once they run out.
Rabbit Style Wine Openers
This is perhaps the easiest type to use if you are a beginner. The Rabbit Corkscrew has some of the most straightforward features that make opening a wine bottle a walk in the park. It’s simply not easy to mess up with this opener.
How To Use:
- Get a firm grip of the cork using two handles designed to wrap around the neck of the bottle (rabbit ear grip).
- Then insert a levered corkscrew into the cork and withdraw.
The rabbit design corkscrew is guaranteed to pull out the cork in a matter of seconds and you can use it to open a wine bottle of any size — it’s no wonder most wine lovers swear by it.
The waiter’s corkscrew also goes by several different names such the wine key, sommelier knife or pulltap corkscrew. The handles are available in different materials such as metal, wood, or plastic, making the wine key a favorite for those who want a stylish tool that also works well. The Sommelier wine openers usually come with an integrated beer bottle opener.
How To Use:
- It features a double hinge designed to offer leverage allowing for easy removal of the cork once you have inserted the screw.
- This design allows the user to rest the tool on top of the wine bottle to help in pulling out the cork speedily.
- The integrated knife blade facilitates easy removal of the foil that typically covers the cork.
It may take you a bit longer to fully master this wine opener but once you master it, the benefits are many. It’s highly recommended for waiters.
Two-Pronged Wine Opener
This opener is good when you want to open an aged wine bottle whose cork has probably deteriorated. It’s, however, a bit tricky using the two-pronged wine opener as you can easily chip the bottle. They are quite inexpensive and sometimes wineries use them as giveaways.
How To Use:
- Instead of a screw, it has different length prongs designed to slide between the bottle and the cork.
- As you insert it into the wine bottle, it becomes necessary to wiggle this tool.
- Once fully inserted, pull the T-handle as you turn the opener to remove the cork.
Being slim, this opener doesn’t put a hole into the cork and so cork fragments are not likely to fall into your wine.
This is among the most popular wine openers in terms of ease of use. Because it comes with an additional lever, winged corkscrew gives you a wing on each side — “the wings.”
How To Use:
- As you turn up the handle top, slowly the wings on the corkscrew start rising up.
- All you then have to do is simply push both of them back down.
- The worm then pulls out the cork.
However, the winged corkscrew is not highly recommended when you are opening aged bottles. This is because they are likely to have corks that are more sensitive or brittle. The force used when pulling out the cork using a winged corkscrew could break or snap older corks.
This is the perfect solution for opening wine bottles anywhere, particularly when on vacation or at a camp. Their small in size is perfect even for storing in your car or purse. These small tools are also known as pocket corkscrew openers. They are easy to use and inexpensive.
How To Use:
- The folding corkscrew mechanism makes opening a wine bottle easy even for the uninitiated.
- Simply screw in and pull out the cork. This might not be the best option for synthetic corks.
- They are also a great back-up to have in the house all the time.
These travel corkscrews are excellent gift items for wine-lovers and the perfect tool for that impromptu garden party. They are perhaps the only corkscrew wine opener you can safely bring on an airplane.
Wall Mount Corkscrew
For those people who are really committed wine drinkers, the mounted corkscrew makes an excellent choice. For optimal security and stability, these corkscrews are usually mounted to a wall or beam. For a wine collector, this is a great addition to your collection and it also makes a great gift item.
How To Use:
- Fix the device to a wall, beam, or countertop.
- Using leverage, extract the cork.
- Easy to use as it doesn’t require much force.
Besides the ease of use and speed, the wall mount cork extractor is appealing. The downside, however, is that it cost more and uses more space. This is a good option for a restaurant that opens lots of wine bottles.
When using this type of corkscrew to open the wine bottle, there is possibly no way you could go wrong. Many view the lever corkscrew as being the best tool for beginners for being easy to use. At the same time, it retains the traditional feel one gets from using a hand-operated wine bottle opener. This is an efficient and dependable tool that doesn’t require much strength. You can also get lever corkscrews in table mounted versions.
How To Use:
- Have the corkscrew lever placed in the up position.
- Then place the corkscrew on top of your bottle.
- To insert the worm, push down the lever.
- Once the lever has gone down all the way, pull the lever handle back up so as to get the cork out of the wine bottle.
While this type of wine opener takes up lots of space, it’s easy to use. And it makes a bold stylish statement about you when it’s installed as a permanent home fixture.
Wine Cork Extractor
This is a little gadget that is great when you want to remove damaged, crumbling or old corks from all types of wine bottles. The cork extractor is actually a 2-bladed tool and works in a surprisingly easy way.
How To Use:
- Simply slip the two blades down both sides of the cork.
- It has to be between the glass and the cork.
- Twist and pull to withdraw the cork.
However, when using the wine cork extractor on older corks, take care so that you don’t exert too much pressure from the top. This could force the old cork to disintegrate and possibly mix with the wine.
Air Pump Corkscrew
The working of this corkscrew is anchored on forcing air into the space between the wine bottle and the cork. As the air is being pumped by the device, the pressure will force out the cork. It pushes a sharp, thick long needle through the cork.
How To Use:
- Insert the wine bottle’s neck into the cradle.
- To insert your corkscrew, pull down on the handle.
- To begin pulling out the cork, return the handle to its starting position.
This is a useful wine opener to have for occasions that need partial wine cork extraction. This includes banquet room functions as normally you will place the partially open wine on the tables prior to the commencement of the event.
Twist & Pull Corkscrew
Though fairly inexpensive, the twist and pull corkscrew is very reliable. The most important component of this corkscrew is the worm. This corkscrew is designed with a circular rim that you will place over the bottle’s lip. This design centers the worm above the cork.
How To Use:
- Twist the worm into the cork.
- The corkscrew gets braced against the wine bottle.
- As you continue twisting, the cork begins to emerge.
The twist & pull corkscrew is generally not easy to use and is recommended for special moments when you feel like showing off. If you use cheap models of the twist & pull corkscrew, you can very easily mess up a cork.
What To Consider When Buying a Wine Opener
Of course, the cost will be a principal consideration, if not the main one. It’s possible to buy a basic waiter-style corkscrew wine opener for a few bucks that will serve you well just as a model that costs five times more. However, the difference is likely to be seen in terms of durability and the warranty provided. Wine openers that are easier-to-use such as lever-style openers and electric models will typically cost more.
When the space at your disposal is limited, a waiter-style corkscrew may be your best choice as the majority can easily fit in your palm. While lever-style corkscrews are kind on your muscles, most of them tend to be bulky and can take lots of drawer space. Smaller corkscrews like pocket or waiter’s corkscrews are an excellent choice for those on the move like waiters. Electric wine openers, on the other hand, are designed to sit on your kitchen or restaurant counter eating up lots of valuable space.
Ease Of Use
How much work do you intend to use your wine opener to or how frequent are you going to use it? If you choose a corkscrew that is complicated to use, it may leave you with cork crumbs floating in the wine or you could even end up being unable to open the wine bottle.
Different corkscrews excel at extracting different cork types. Basically, there are two main types of wine corks: natural and synthetic. Compared to natural corks, synthetic corks are denser, which require a corkscrew that uses more force when twisting the worm. The advantage associated with synthetic corks is they not are likely to disintegrate or break during the process of extraction.
For Home Or Business/Restaurant Use
Just as people prefer different wine styles for different occasions, where a corkscrew is being used will also matter. If you only open a wine bottle during special occasions, even a simple pocket corkscrew will do. However, if multiple bottles need to be opened consecutively like in a restaurant situation, then an electric model becomes your best option.
While the wine corkscrew is the preferred method of opening wine bottles, it’s also evident that there several other important considerations that go into selecting the most suitable one. Often, that comes down to the available options, knowledge level, budget, and available storage space.
If you usually open lots of older bottles corked with a natural cork, you may also want to consider the Ah-So wine opener. This tool specializes in the removal of old and brittle corks that may disintegrate when the traditional corkscrew’s auger penetrates. Another great benefit of this specially designed wine opener is that it helps out if a cork breaks into halves. The Ah So gets that piece out instead of pushing it down into your wine.
The recommendations above are simply a guide, the most important thing is to get a wine opener that is truly functional, durable and, of course, cost-effective. Just like you would not buy any type of wine, you also need to get the right wine opener. It should not only make a personal statement about your unique wine sensibilities but it should be practical, to say the least.
Ema is the “winer” behind this and most blog posts on xogwine.com. Believe it or not, writing about wine is not as easy as drinking wine. Ema has been doing it for so long (writing), it has become a passion for her. This is how xogwine.com was born.