How to Open a Wine Bottle
Even though screwcapped wines are on the rise, you still should know how to properly open a bottle of wine the traditional way. After all, there’s nothing like the romantic ritual of pulling the cork from a bottle. Corks aren’t going out of style any time soon, which means you’ll always need at least one wine opener at home — especially if you want to enjoy the range of Mazzoni wines.
There’s more than half a dozen styles of wine openers available to use — from traditional corkscrews to the friendlier electric wine openers — but which is best all depends on your own preferences. Explore the major styles below to find the one that’s right for you.
Twist & Pull Corkscrew
This is what many consider to be the “basic corkscrew” — and the first corkscrew patented, by Samuel Henshall, in England in 1795. The “twist and pull” method may sound simple, but this wine opener can be difficult to use, and definitely not a foolproof way to uncork a bottle of wine.
The Winged “Butterfly” Corkscrew
Perhaps the most popular wine opener in American kitchens, this double lever “wing” corkscrew has been around since the late 1800s. It isn’t the worst way to open your wine, but I’ve often found it has its flaws. The screw part of the device too often shreds apart even well made corks, so I’ve thrown mine away.
The Waiter’s Friend Corkscrew
This is the most versatile, affordable, and reliable corkscrew there is. If you’re a serious wino, you need one of these. My favorite waiter’s friend variation has a double-hinge to helps you get better leverage when removing a cork. Most come with a small knife for removing foil, and this method leaves little trace of having been used on the cork. It requires moderate skill, but after a few bottles of practice you’ll be a pro!
The “Bunny Ears” Lever Corkscrew
This wine opener has grown in popularity over the years because it’s so easy to use. Two handles wrap around the neck of the bottle, and a third handle is used to pull a lever over the top of the neck. With a simple push and pull open of the lever, you’ve done the “hard” work of uncorking the bottle. This single lever wine opener may require minimal effort, but you need maximum space to store them, so it’s not the best option if you’re low on drawer space like me.
Electric Wine Opener
It doesn’t get much easier than this. With the push of a button, these electric corkscrews do all the pulling and uncorking for you. It’s especially helpful if you have weak wrists or encounter difficulty when opening things. Just be sure to keep it charged!
And what if you need to open a bottle of wine but don’t have access to any corkscrew? Well, people have opened bottles with knives, scissors, and even with their shoes, but I wouldn’t recommend any of that. Always stick with a wine opener. If you don’t have one already, now is the time to go buy a waiter’s friend corkscrew. They’re inexpensive and versatile, and small enough to fit in your pocket wherever you go.