This post may contain affiliate links, please read our disclosure policy.
Learn about the different types of corkscrews and how to open a bottle of wine with a corkscrew properly. This wine bottle opening guide will help you to learn how to open a bottle of wine with a variety of corkscrews. Then practice!
How To Open A Bottle Of Wine With A Corkscrew
In order to reap the rewards of fine wine, the art of opening a corked bottle must be learned and practiced.
Once a bottle of wine is purchased, the task of opening the bottle must be tackled. Wine bottles are most often corked and require specific tools for opening. If a bottle of corked wine is not opened correctly, the wine may become drizzled with tiny pieces of cork, leaving it nearly undrinkable, at the very least, unsightly in a glass.
Different Types of Wine Corks
While some wine lovers adhere to a strict standard of purchasing only those wines bottled with cork, there are many superior wines available for purchase that are no longer bottled with real cork. Synthetic corks and caps are frequently used by wine producers. Consumers who choose a wine with a synthetic cork or a cap need not worry about sacrificing quality. Both bottle a wine with the same precision and keep a wine preserved well.
How to Use Different Styles of Corkscrews
Corkscrews are made in all shapes and sizes. When used correctly, the end result is the same, no matter the style. Selecting the right corkscrew depends completely on personal preference. Before a cork can be removed, a foil cutter (you can get one at most stores, or on Amazon for about $5) may be required to slice the foil that caps the cork. Most foils are now decorative and are sliced with the cutter just below the lip of the bottle, and some wine bottles do not have a foil cap at all.
If a foil cutter is not handy, the tip of the wire spiral of a corkscrew can be used to slice the foil under the bottle lip. The wire spiral is often referred to as “the worm.”
Consists of a worm and a handle. Hold the handle with the spiral pointed directly in the middle of the cork and twist into the cork. Once twisted deeply enough, but not through the bottom, remove the cork by pulling up on the handle. These require a bit more arm power than the other listed below, but are the most inexpensive. You can find basic corkscrews for $5 – $8.
The most conventional of corkscrews and the only one equipped with a knife for slicing the foil (if required). The spiral is positioned in the same manner as a basic corkscrew and is twisted into the cork. The Waiter, however, has an arm with a claw that is placed on the lip or rim of the bottle for leverage when the cork is pulled out. Remember to hold the neck of the bottle and pull upward on the side opposite of the claw. These are inexpensive and you can find them at most stores, wineries and online for around $10.
A double-action corkscrew with two wings on either side. Once the foil is removed, if any, place the spiral point in the middle of the cork with wings pointing down on either side. Turn the handle of the corkscrew to twist the spiral into the cork. Wings will rise up on both sides. Once the spiral is deep enough into the cork and the wings are pointing nearly straight up, push the wings down, and the cork will emerge from the bottle attached to the spiral. Remove the cork by twisting it off the spiral. These are inexpensive, you can usually pick one up for around $10.
The easiest of corkscrews to use when opening a wine bottle. To use the electric corkscrew, make sure the foil has been removed from the top of the wine bottle so that the cork is exposed. Center the electric corkscrew on top of the wine bottle and press the button. The electric corkscrew will do the rest. You can find these at most retail stores, wineries, as well as on Amazon. Prices range from $20-$40.
How to Dislodge a Damaged Cork
If a cork breaks in half while attempting to extract it, leaving some in the bottle, several options are possible to finish the job.
- Place the spiral of the corkscrew at an angle into the piece remaining in the bottle and pull gently.
- Place a wood screw about one-quarter inch into the cork and pull out.
- Place a knife about an inch into the cork and twist out.
If the cork falls into the bottle, the last resort is to decant the wine by pouring the wine through wine funnel with a strainer, but if you don’t have one of those a coffee filter will do to attempt to catch the tiny pieces of cork. The taste of the wine should not be affected.
This guide will assist you in opening a bottle of wine with a variety of corkscrews. Don’t forget to practice! And drink the wine, of course 😉
What type of corkscrew do you prefer to use when opening a bottle of wine?
Be sure to check out Food Wine Sunshine on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more wine tips, cocktails, healthy recipes, and fun things to do.