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Wine Openers- 6 Styles Reviewed

Waiter Corkscrew

This is probably the most ubiquitous wine opener in the world, and the ultimate in simplicity. This tool features a design that allows the entire tool to fit in your pocket, and as such has become the overwhelming favorite of wait staff and picnic goers. There are three essential parts that all fold out from the body of the tool: the corkscrew itself, a lever that acts as a fulcrum on the top of the bottle, and a small foilcutter to cut the foil from the top of the bottle. No wine cellar would be equipped without one at a minimum for backup. To use the opener simply remove the foil from the neck with the knife, twist the corkscrew fully into the cork, and then place the lever on the top of the bottle and pull the cork up and out. Some devices feature two shoulders on the lever in order to maximize leverage, in this case use the one halfway down the lever first, finally use the top shoulder to get the cork the rest of the way out.

Wing style

Here is another very popular type of wine opener. Using the mechanical advantage of a lever and gear, this device makes uncorking a bottle easier than a typical cork puller. While the price is a little higher than the waiter style, it is a great choice for the home user or anyone that does not wish to wrestle with a wine bottle. Simply rest the bottom of the opener on the top of the bottle, screw the corkscrew into the cork, and then push the levers down and they will lift the cork out. This could be the second most important accessory for the wine lover, second only to the wine glasses. These models come in a wide selection of metals including nickel-plated steel, or plastic. It is highly recommended to buy only heavy-duty metal types as they are more solid and will last for years.

Lever Pull

This type was made famous by the brand named "The Rabbit", and it does make very quick work of opening wine bottles. Featuring a clamp you hold around the neck of the bottle with one hand, and a lever that plunges then pulls the corkscrew with the other. This gizmo efficiently removes a cork in just seconds. If you have a lot of wine to open, you will certainly find this toll useful. But be aware that this premium product comes at a premium price. A quality lever pull wine opener will cost up to $100 or above.

Twist Corkscrews

A two piece corkscrew with no levers, clamps, or hinges makes this one of the easiest and our favorite corkscrew for every day use. Use the device by first placing the bottom "seat" on top of the wine bottle. The corkscrew piece then slides into a guide hole in the top and is automatically centered on the cork. Begin twisting and the screw first drives into the cork, than it stops against the shoulder of the seat and as you continue twisting it lifts the cork clear. Broken corks are pratically impossible when using this style, as are cork pieces floating in the wine when completed. And at prices less than $50.00, this is in the top 10 accessories for any wine buff.

Uncorking Machines

If you have an entire room reserved just for your wine collection, than you are likely ready for an uncorking machine. With the simple pull of a lever in one direction, you will be able to twist the corkscrew in, and then pull it out of the bottle. Reverse direction and the cork will spit out and you are ready to do it again. The entire process takes less than 10 seconds. The design of these machines makes opening wine not only efficient, but also impressive. But be sure these machines are not cheap in the least; expect to pay over $100 for the most basic model that clamps to a tabletop. And for advanced models you would expect to see on an Italian estate the price tag will exceed $500.00.

Pump Style

The last style opener we will mention is the pump style. These insert a long needle through the cork into the air space above the wine. Then using either a pump or a cylinder of compressed air, the cork is removed by building up pressure under the cork so it pops out, just like champagne. These tools are a little bit more gizmo than workhorse, but for the enthusiast who has it all, this might make a good gift just for the amazement factor when it is time to open the bottle.

About the Author

Michael Briggs is a wine enthusiast and a frequent contributor to Winery-Mall where you can learn all about wine enjoyment

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