How To Use Wine Openers

No need to panic – that wine will be flowing into your glass very shortly.

Two Prong Wine Opener

Probably the least known type of wine opener, and yet it is my personal favourite. It was invented in France and did not spread across the globe that much. I love it for being very compact and ideal to open old wine bottles with brittle corks.

  1.  Remove the foil from the bottle by using the ribbon, or simply cut it away with a knife. 
  2. Insert the prongs between the bottle and the cork.
  3. Gently press down while rocking the handle to press against one prong at the time. 
  4. Once all the way in, hold the bottle with one hand firmly and start pulling the wine opener while twisting it back and forth.
  5. When you see the cork four-fifths out of the bottle you can stop twisting and just remove the cork with your hand (that way you will avoid potential wine spill common when the cork pops).

Waiter’s Corkscrew

As you might have guessed, it is one of the most popular amongst waiters. Most favour it due to its compact size and reliability. Not everyone knows, but it has a nice feature to make wine opening much easier (I marked it with an arrow on the list). 

  1. Open a little blade on the side 
  2. Cut the foil on the bottle – just 3 milímeters from the top of the bottle, and remove the top section (then fold the blade – we will not need it anymore). 
  3. Unfold the worm and place it in the middle of the cork. 
  4. Turn the corkscrew slowly clockwise, while ensuring that it is going in at the 90-degree angle, as much in the middle as possible. 
  5. Go in for 3 – 4 cm and, without getting the cork out, unfold the lever. 
  6. Tilt the corkscrew in such way that you can rest the end of the lever against the edge of the bottle on top.
  7. Important – hold the lever with a finger or two to ensure that it is resting against the bottle and does not slip, then start pulling the corkscrew while leveraging against the lever. It should be relatively easy. 

If you happen to have Pulltap’s corkscrew then you can utilise the staged lever to help you pull the cork all the way out in the two-stage process. If you just have a normal waiter's corkscrew, then, once the cork gets stuck halfway through, you can just pull it with your fingers.

Twin Lever Wine Opener

It is one of the most popular wine openers because they require much less force than a traditional straight corkscrew. 

  1. Use a knife to cut the foil two millimetres from the top and remove it. 
  2. Place the base on the bottle top – this will help you position the worm in the middle. 
  3. Turn the screw clockwise direction by gently pressing it down at the beginning.
  4. Go two-three fingers deep, but you should not penetrate the cork all the way through. 
  5. Press down on the two levers gently, while keeping an eye on the bottle to keep it steadyIf part of the cork is still stuck just rock it side to side gently while pulling until it comes out.

Rabbit Wine Opener

Do not let the look intimidate you. This wine opener is very easy to use and requires very little force when opening the bottle. 

  1. To make it neater you can remove foil with a knife. 
  2. Open the lever so the worm is fully extracted up. 
  3. Place the rabbit wine opener on the neck of the bottle and press both parts firmly against the bottle. 
  4. Take the lever and push it down and (while still holding the neck) pull the same lever up. Voila! The cork is out of the bottle.

Classic Corkscrew

  1. Place the sharp end of the worm in the middle of the cork
  2. Gently push from the top and start turning clockwise
  3. Keep on turning until you go in about 3 – 4 cm deep – try not to come out on the other side of the cork, inside the bottle. It is not a big deal but this will result in it some small pieces of cork potentially swimming in your wine. 
  4. Now hold the bottle firmly, pressing against the table and use another hand to pull the corkscrew. Sometimes it helps to turn it back and forth just a little when pulling. Don’t be surprised if it will require more force than you expected. 
  5. Note that the cork will have less resistance once it starts coming out, hence reduce your pulling force once you start seeing the cork coming up. 

Avoid: not going deep enough into the cork – this might result in cork breaking and part of it still remaining in the bottleneck.

Video Instructions

To make it easier to understand how to use different wine openers I also made a video covering all main wine opener types.

If you don’t feel at ease, just practise it by yourself once or twice before opening bottles in big parties. 

I also hope that the video will give you an idea what type of corkscrew would you personally prefer, should you be looking to decide which one to get.

Enjoy your wine!

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