The proper way to open a bottle of wine

The table is set and the guests have arrived. You confidently hold the chosen wine for the occasion and begin screwing down the corkscrew. As you fumble with the opener, trying to get it to screw down evenly, you start to notice those little flecks of cork as they start to drop inside the bottle. You struggle to save the cork as you gently pull, but it’s too late. The cork has broken in two and you’re standing there wondering if anyone will notice if you just push it into the bottle.

This seemingly simple task can sometimes challenge even the most adept wine connoisseur. The first thing to look at is the corkscrew. The Wing Corkscrew for instance has a spiral shaped “worm” in the center that you twist into the cork and two wings that are used to lift the cork out. The main problem with this corkscrew is that the worm is too short and thick and usually tears the cork apart rather than pulling it out smoothly. So, rather than struggling with this type of corkscrew, you might want to try one of these other kinds and save yourself some aggravation.

The Waiter’s Corkscrew is what you’ll most commonly see in restaurants. It resembles a pocketknife with a worm, cutter knife, and lever arm. While holding the neck of the wine bottle firmly, press the corkscrew’s worm into the center of the cork and start twisting it down, keeping the worm as vertical as possible. Twist the corkscrew until it meets the last curve of the worm. Place the corkscrew’s lever on the top lip of the bottle, holding the lever and the bottle’s neck with one hand, and pull with the other hand. The cork should slide out perfectly intact. If the cork sticks, the worm is probably not in the cork far enough. If this happens, gently twist the corkscrew farther down and try lifting it out again.


The Screwpull Corkscrew is another one that works surprisingly well. It has a long worm, two sides that look like a clothespin, and a lever on top. Place the base of the corkscrew on the top of the wine bottle and hold both the corkscrew and the bottle with one hand. Start turning the lever in a clockwise manner and the cork will simply lift out of the wine bottle with ease. What could be simpler than that?

What’s next to do? Pop around to Ultra Liquors and stock up on some wines to practice on.