Which Corkscrew is Best?
Quality wine means a quality corkscrew. Don’t mess up the cork as you pull it from the bottle. Here are the best corkscrews.
Our Recommendations for Which Corkscrews
- Lever Style – Rabbit Corkscrew
- Waiter Corkscrew
- Twisting Pull Corkscrew
- Two-Pronged Corkscrew or ah so corkscrew
- Winged Corkscrew
- Cork Pops
Descriptions of each corkscrew type & advantages, disadvantages
Lever style Corkscrew
There are several of these on the market ranging in price from $30 to $150. You clamp the opener on the bottle and let the levers do all the work.
Advantages: Dependable, efficient, and takes light strength to use. You can’t go wrong, opening a bottle with the lever style.
Disadvantage: It takes up more room than the other types of corkscrews. These are the most expensive types of corkscrews.
This one is the corkscrew of choice for the waiter. It is slim and comfortable to carry in one’s pocket. The worm (screw) and the small knife are in a safe position. The servers can put it into their pocket or apron without fear of getting poked. It is also my “Go-To” corkscrew.
Advantage: It is slim and contains a knife to remove the foil on the bottle. It’s a little tricky at first to use, but once mastered, it’s fast and efficient. If you become skillful at using one of these, you have that professional look about you.
Disadvantage: Requires practice to be proficient at using. Cheaper models don’t work as well. The inexpensive types may have a dull knife, and the worm may bend if the proper angle and leverage are incorrectly applied.
We recommend that you place a waiter’s corkscrew in the glove compartment of your car. You never know when you might need it.
The Twisting Pull Cork
This corkscrew has a circular rim that you place over the lip of the bottle. This action centers the worm over the cork. You then begin twisting the handle on the corkscrew. When the worm rotates into the cork, the corkscrew braces against the bottle the cork starts to emerge from the bottle as you turn.
Advantage: Very reliable and relatively inexpensive. Tip: The worm is the essential part of this corkscrew. Cheap models are likely to mess up a cork.
Disadvantage: Nothing significant, except for those who have pain in the wrist and elbow joints. These corkscrews require constant turning.
These corkscrews also have a circular rim that fits over the lip of the bottle. As you turn the corkscrew, the wings lift higher and higher. When you think you have drilled the worm into the cork far enough, grasp the wings and slowly bring them down toward the bottle. This action causes the cork to pull out of the bottle.
Advantages: Usually reliable unless the worm is not far enough into the cork. The cost is reasonable.
Disadvantages: If the worm goes past the bottom of the cork, cork fragments get into the wine. Cheap models with weak worms will not lift the cork out of the bottle.
Two-pronged or Ah-So type
These are not exactly corkscrews because they do not have a worm that you screw into the cork. Instead, you have two slim metal prongs that you enter into opposite sides of the cork in the bottle. One prong is a little longer than the other, and that is the side you enter into the wine bottle first. You rock the device back and forth slightly until the prongs are fully along the sides of the cork. Then you gently pull up with a little twist or rocking motion.
Advantage: It’s slim. It puts no hole into the cork, and therefore no cork fragments fall into the wine. This device works well with an aged bottle of wine whose cork has deteriorated.
Disadvantage: Somewhat hard to use. Purchase a high-quality one, especially if you have many old wines in your cellar.
Cork Pops uses a cartridge of compressed inert gas. Place the needle into the cork, press the button and out pops the cork. Amazon has it for around $30.
Advantages: No messing up the cork with a misplaced corkscrew.
Disadvantages: Requires a bit of practice to get a smooth and easy pop open.
Many wineries have adopted screw tops or screw caps for bottles of wine that do not require aging. For those wine bottles, you don’t need a corkscrew. Watch this video on how to properly open a bottle of wine with a screw top.