Wine Bottle Openers
Waiter, Rabbit Lever, and Electric Corkscrews
Here is a selection of wine bottle openers and a few tips for finding the one that suits your needs.
I love to see a top-notch waiter opening a bottle of wine. It is a smooth, effortless and amazingly rapid feat. I try to imitate such grace in the privacy of my own kitchen, but of course frequently fall considerably short. At any rate, the waiter's choice of corkscrew is also my personal favorite.
You need not spend a lot of money on one of these wine bottle openers. Very cheap models might bend, but for about 10 dollars you can find something that will last for years. Lightweight and compact these are also great for taking on a picnic or keeping in your purse. (Who knows?)
How to use: Once you have removed the foil using the small attached knife, carefully begin screwing the worm (that's the official name for the screw part) into the cork. You should start at a point just slightly off center so that the worm is centered within the cork. Once it is almost through the cork, place the lever on the side of the bottle, and pry the cork out. Sometimes you will need to give it a final pull.
Perhaps you have heard of this French name associated with quality pocket knives that also many times feature a corkscrew. Please note that the name refers to a city in France that is highly reputed for its pocket knife production, and not a manufacturer. Unscrupulous manufacturers might label themselves Laguiole, but actually produce products that are not up to the standards that such a name evokes. However, a high quality Laguiole knife equipped with a corkscrew, could be the ultimate way to uncork your drink with French style.
Some people prefer the supposed ease of these types of wine bottle openers. You must be somewhat careful to begin inserting the worm in the right place. As you turn his head , the arms on the little guy will come up (Hallelujah wine is on the way). Once it has wound its way almost to the end, simply bring the arms back down and the cork will slide on out.
These are great to have with kids as it gives them something to play with at the table.
Rabbit Wine Opener
I can't decide if these wine bottle openers look clunky or sleek. One thing is for sure - they are a very easy way to quickly open a bottle of wine. One of these would probably be a good investment if you knew you were going to have to open numerous bottles of wine quickly - but when does that ever happen?
Better than words, have a look at this video to see one of these lever corkscrews in action.
Electric Wine Opener
Seems that everything has gone electric these days. Soon we will have electric vegetable peelers. (Yikes, we already do!) As with many things electric, the electric bottle opener generally gets mixed reviews. Everyone is happy until it breaks. Most likely the manufacturers want to sell them for an attractively cheap price and therefore can not afford to include a decent motor or quality craftsmanship.
If you have problems opening bottles because of arthritis or other difficulties, this might be a worthwhile investment. However, it will probably not last a long time, so expect to reinvest.
Pronged Cork Puller
This is not a corkscrew at all. To open a bottle you insert the longer prong between the cork and the interior of the bottle and push, easing in the shorter prong as you go. Once you have the two prongs inserted beyond the cork, you pull the cork out with a rocking action. The whole operation takes a bit of practice.
The supposed advantage of this wine bottle opener is that you do not risk bits of cork falling into the bottle. These can also be handy for opening bottles where the cork is already damaged or starting to fall apart.
Air Pump Cork Extractor
These work by pumping air between the cork and the interior of the bottle, gradually building up pressure so that the cork eases its way out. They must be used with a certain amount of discipline, so they are probably not the best idea for your next party. They can be useful however, for opening older bottles of wine with potentially compromised corks.
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