If you’ve shopped for a wine opener, you likely noticed there are almost as many options for wine openers are there are bottles of wine. Just like wine that can be intimidating, but with a little knowledge you can make a choice that best fits your needs. As you grow your collection of wine, you’ll likely add more wine openers too. These are the most common type of openers.
The Wine Key:
Pros: Portable, available in a variety of styles to match yours.
Con: Takes some practice for proficiency.
Also called The Waiter’s Friend, this is the wine key of choice for restaurant servers and many wine enthusiasts. It’s portable, available in a variety of styles, and works great. The wine key does take some practice to use it smoothly and there is a risk of chipping the bottle when first learning. Once you’re comfortable with the wine key, it will be your go to opener.
The Winged Corkscrew:
Pro: Easy to use.
Con: Difficult to use as it gets older.
This is likely the most common wine opener. It seems everyone has one or two of these tucked in their kitchen tool drawer. Its popularity speaks to the ease of operation and that anyone can use it. One of the drawbacks is that as the winged corkscrew ages the arms can become loose, the gears gummed up, and the ease of operation diminishes.
The Electric Opener:
Pro: Super easy to use.
Con: The look wine snobs will give you.
The electric opener is as easy as it gets. Basically, set it on top of the bottle and hit the open button. The drawback is that some people don’t see this as a “real” wine opener. If you like tech gear, this one fits the bill.
“Pocket Corkscrew” (the twist and pull style):
Pros: Small, portable, makes you like a badass.
Con: Requires strength.
The pocket corkscrew typically has a cover which is removed and placed through the top of the corkscrew to form a handle. While other corkscrews use some form of leverage to remove the cork, the pocket corkscrew relies on your brute strength. Two main drawbacks to this opener is that it isn’t easy to use and increases the risk of spilling wine.
No matter which wine opener you choose, take some time to learn how to use it properly. Practice opening wine bottles with it. Keep in mind each time you successfully use your wind opener on a wine bottle, you’re rewarded with wine.
Victor Mazzeo is a food and wine enthusiast who’s worked many years in the food service industry both front of the house and back of the house. He enjoys running, cycling, and triathlon. He is currently a stay at home dad earning a living drinking and sharing wine. His own musings can be found at PourAndEnjoy.com