How to Use Different Types of Wine Openers and Corkscrews
Many Types of Wine Openers to Uncork that Bottle
If you enjoy a bottle of fine wine as much as I do, you know that the first trick is getting the bottle open. There is a wide selection of wine keys on the market these days, ranging from $5 corkscrews, to $100 (or more) silver gadgets that twist their way into the cork and then pop it out, almost seamlessly. These devices range widely in cost, effectiveness and value. Moreover, you can often find bargains on some of the more trendy openers, if you buy them through eBay, or at garage sales, rather than at boutique wine stores.
This article will go through a few of the primary types of wine openers, and compare them. You may decide to have one or two in your kitchen drawer. One size doesn't always fit all.
And, once you figure out how to get to that nectar, read more about the foods with which you should pair your drink.
Lever Wine Opener
Cost: Approximately $40
Benefits: Easy to use. Position over the top of the cork, lift the lever down and the screw will drive down into the cork. Press the lever up and the cork comes out. Depending on the tightness of the cork, you may have to grip the bottle tightly.
Drawbacks: Relatively expensive. Does not last forever (models break after about 1-2 years). Not very portable. Takes up a lot of room in your kitchen drawer.
Air Pressure Wine Opener
Benefits: Ease of use. No struggling with getting the cork out. Portable.
Drawbacks: I've never seen this before, so I'm not sure if this would actually work as advertised. It appears that you simply pump air in and then pull out the cork. If its really that easy, then I'm game to try! On the expensive side.
Tabletop Wine Opener
Cost: Approximately $75
Benefits: Easy to use, like the lever wine opener above. Plus, it will look really cool in your kitchen, or in your bar. Impress your guests or date! No struggling with the bottle if the cork is tight, the base of the tabletop wine opener has a suction that grips the counter, allowing physics to do the work for you.
Drawbacks: Expensive. You must really be into wine to buy this gadget! It will always be out, taking up space on your counter. Not portable at all! If it breaks, you're out a lot of bucks.
Cost Ranges: $5-15
Benefits: Cheap, Portable, Multi-functioning (you can use it to open beer bottles too). Small enough to be stored very easily. Once you get the hang of it, they are relatively easy to use.
Drawbacks: Not intuitive to use. If you get the corkscrew in crooked, you could end up breaking the cork, or getting half out. Have you ever been to dinner and watched a novice waiter try to use a corkscrew?
Cost: Varies widely, depending on materials, $5-$150
Benefits: Portable, easily stored, can be a beautiful piece of art, a gift, or heirloom. For those that know how to use them, simple mechanism that does not break.
Drawbacks: Like the waiter corkscrew, its not easy to use for novices. Must be precisely positioned and handscrewed into the cork. User must then use their own muscular force to extract the cork.
Butterfly Wine Opener
Cost: Ranges from $10-40 (or more, depending on materials)
Benefits: Ease of use, portable and easy to store. Position the corkscrew over the top of the cork. As you drill down into the cork, the "wings" raise up on the side, allowing you to press down to release the cork.
Drawbacks: You may have to "re-drill" before the cork will come out. Positioning is key, as with many of the other models discussed in this article. Not the least expensive model.
Still Need Help Opening that Bottle of Wine?
© 2008 Stephanie Hicks