Posts Tagged ‘waiter’s friend’

How Do You Open Your Wine?

August 8, 2012 11:41 am - Posted by Jody in Drink, Learn


Cork is harvested from the bark of trees as a renewable resource.  As a readily biodegradable material, the use of cork promotes a sustainable agro-forest system and improves the biodiversity of the ecological environment.  This natural material has been used for several centuries as wine closures.  It is only as of recent that synthetic corks, and twist of tops have been introduced to the world of wine.  To read more about the benefits of each option- read our article all about corks!

This solution on how to seal wine bottles brings forth a secondary problem.  How do you remove the cork wedged tightly into the neck of the wine bottle?

The corkscrew was originally designed as a worm (the screw) with a Tbar and required manpower to pull it out of the bottle.  This would take around 100 pounds of force to pull the cork out.  More modern versions of the corkscrew use the models of physics and lever systems to assist with the force.

The Waiter’s Corkscrew/ Waiter’s Friend/ Wine Key

These wine openers are named for their common use in restaurants by wine stewards or sommeliers.  Compared to all other forms of wine openers, theses are small, portable, and safe to keep in your pocket.  Surely, you wouldn’t want to keep a traditional corkscrew anywhere near those family jewels.  These wine openers have a worm (corkscrew) that unfolds in the center and single or double lever at the end.  They often come equipped with a small knife to cut off the foil prior to removing the cork.  With some practice it is easy to master this technique!


Butterfly/ Winged Corkscrew           

As one of the easier methods, the butterfly or winged corkscrew has a frame with two long arms that move upwards as the worm is screwed in.  Removing the cork is as easy as pushing the two arms back down.

Screwpull lever (Rabbit)

Speaking of easy, this model is nearly dummy proof.  Doing all the work for you, this is the perfect gift for a new wine drinker.  Opening the bottle is as easy as placing it over the neck of the wine bottle, lowering the lever and then raising it back up.  I can guarantee you wont’ see a waiter pull one of these large contraptions from their pockets though.


Ah- So/ Twin Prong Cork Puller/ Butler’s Friend

The ah-so wine opener takes the cake for the most difficult to master.  This contraption has a handle with two metal prongs that slide into either side of the cork along the inside of the bottle’s neck.  With a slow twist and pull, you can pry the cork out.  The Ah-So is most practical with older wines, when there is risk that the cork has dried out and could crumble.  Since this technique doesn’t require you to puncture the cork, it works to prevent any of the brittle cork from crumbling into the wine.



The twist off cap

Place hand on cap and twist.  (And you thought the Rabbit was easy!)

What is your preferred method of cork removal?