I started waiting tables when I was 20, so I’ve been opening bottles of wine since before I could legally drink them. And for more than a decade, I was loyal to a style of wine opener called the waiter’s corkscrew. We’ve tested them, and they can be great. The trick is to find one with a long, nonstick-coated worm (that’s the spiral bit) and a hinged fulcrum (the metal arm you rest on the bottle’s neck) so you can get good leverage.
But they are not failproof. Even if you have the best waiter’s corkscrew, using it still requires a bit of finesse. You have to insert the worm into the center of the cork and take care to aim it straight down as you turn it. If the worm goes a little off-track, you can break or damage the cork and really struggle to remove it from the bottle. And that means wasted time, a lot of frustration, and perhaps some little bits of cork bobbing around in your glass.
Continuous-turn corkscrews, on the other hand, work as if by magic. It’s by far the easiest type of wine opener I’ve ever used.
The Best Wine OpenersWine can be intimidating. Your corkscrew shouldn’t make it more so.
These sorts of corkscrews latch onto the top of a wine bottle, which means that the worm is centered over the cork and points straight down. You don’t need to fuss with the positioning or worry about angling the end of the worm into the cork. Operating the corkscrew requires a single motion: twisting a large handle clockwise. That not only inserts the worm into the cork, but it also lifts the cork once the worm is fully submerged in it. You don’t need to stop or reorient the corkscrew or strain at a fulcrum. You simply keep twisting and the cork pops out. There is absolutely no guesswork required.
Our favorite, the Le Creuset Table Model Corkpull, is particularly intuitive to use. From start to finish, it takes an average of 12 seconds to open a bottle of wine. That means that you can open and pour a bottle of wine in the time it takes most people to unfold and position other styles of corkscrew.
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