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Anatomy of corkscrews

A guest article by Estelle Platini from Cellarer.com. [There is another article by Estelle on how wine affects health.]

With so many corkscrew styles available, it would be childish to attempt to decide which type is absolutely best. Here is some light on the subject with a description of common designs.

The corkscrew is such a simple, essential tool in the kitchen that most people don’t realize the differences in the styles available. Knowing why each corkscrew is shaped the way it is and what benefits it offers might help consumers in choosing one that best meets their needs.

The Wing Corkscrew:

Wing CorkscrewOnce the screw mechanism is inserted into the cork, this design has two wing-like levers that pull the cork up through its frame when depressed. This model is easy to use and an excellent version for anyone.

The Power Corkscrew:

A wire screw mechanism is inserted into the center of the cork and pulled out with sheer force on part of the user. This one piece design is very portable and has no mechanical parts to lose or break. The design and function are simple but require strength, as the name implies, and some practice. Beware not to spill wine when opening! You may wish to just avoid it.

The Waiter’s Corkscrew:

Waiter's CorkscrewThe waiter’s corkscrew gets its name due to popularity with restaurant staff and bartenders. This compact model folds like a pocket knife and includes a knife for removing wine seals. Its handle is hinged and one end has a support, which rests on the lip of the bottle. Requires some skill but if pulled straight up it works very well. Excellent for those with small kitchens and limited drawer space.

The Twin Prong Cork Puller:

Twin Prong Cork PullerPreferred by wine enthusiasts because it does not damage the cork. This is useful for recorking the bottle or of for closing up new wine.
Instead of using a screw mechanism, this version features two prongs that are wedged into either side of the bottle between the cork and the glass. With a quick twisting motion, the cork is removed from the bottle unscathed. However, this style requires practice to keep from punching the cork into the bottle.

Have you read Estelle’s list of white types of wines? Or Felicien’s primer on types of wines (per variety and district)?

You may open a bottle of wine in advance. This gives you the opportunity to reach ideal temperature and airing. Here is how.


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