What is it about opening wine that can sometimes be so annoying? It doesn’t matter how many bottles you’ve opened in your life, each bottle is slightly different, each corkscrew is slightly different. And now with rubber and synthetic corks in play (like in so many alcohol free wines), it’s a whole new ball game. Picking a great wine opener from any best wine opener guide is an essential part of the tool kit for all wine lovers.
I’m a little old fashioned and tend to use the same waiter’s corkscrew that I was given at a 7 word wine review dinner. However, I had been wanting to test the array of wine openers available in the market. And given that Mrs 12 was going to go away for the weekend, the opportunity had presented itself for me to test all the corkscrews that really took my fancy. As well as of course sample a few bottles of some good old wine.
And I didn’t want to ever be in a position again where I had to open a wine bottle with a bottle opener. But that’s for another day.
How To Wisely Choose The Best Wine Opener
So when you’re picking a wine opener there are a few things you need to look out for. You need to work out what you’re most comfortable with. Would you like a manual one, an electric one, a lever operated one? It’s all about what you’re ready to use. Now some wine openers weigh a lot more than others, whilst some take can take up a huge amount of space. Electric ones need to be near an outlet of course so that they can charged. Whilst others will require some level of manual work, be it pulling, twisting, tugging, yanking a lever, etc….
These are the classic ones others that you’d mostly likely see in most restaurants. If I’m honest, these are the ones I use 99% of the time. They’re reliable and can really help edge the cork out slowly. It’s not the easiest way to open a bottle of wine as I realized in doing this exercise, but nonetheless it’s the tool of choice for most wine lovers. However, taking my own preferences aside, if I knew nothing about wine openers, and this was the very first time I was going to be using one, then I’d steer clear. It’s irrelevant how many people use it, you can always work your way up to these. I see these wine openers as stick shift cars. We all know that driving one well is really knowing your car – but stick shift isn’t for everyone. Nice to work up to though…
Winged Wine Opener
Now when Mrs 12×75 is at home entertaining her friends, there’s no way in hell that she can use the waiter’s corkscrew. It’s just not possible. She’s tried and failed a few times at using it. And that’s because if you’re not used to opening bottles of wine regularly, then there’s far easier products to use. Enter waiter’s wine opener. It’s just so simple to use. And what’s great is that requires no strength at all. Most winged corkscrews have a handle and 2 small handles that essentially look like wings. Connected to the handle is the needle (the corkscrew). As you twist the handle and needle into the cork, the handles start to raise up on their own – that’s a good sign. It means that the corkscrew is in the cork and all that’s left to do is slowly pull those handles back down. As you do, out comes the cork. Very, very easy to use.
I’m not entirely sure where this product goes. As much as it’s a wine preserver it’s also a wine opener. The beauty about this game changing product is that it pierces a tiny hole in the cork allowing you to pour out a glass of wine at a time. Given that cork is a living material, that when you remove the needle, the cork seals itself. The Coravin device is big and does require you to often buy cartridges (especially if you use it a lot) – but nonetheless an absolute game changing product for the wine opening and wine preserving world.
Lever Wine Opener
Now this device is exactly what it says on the tin. In fact, come to think about it, I first used to see this product inside airport lounges. It’s a big device and contains a lot of metal and and therefore weights lot. It involves gripping the wine using the device and using a lever to put the corkscrew into the cork. Once you’ve done that you just lift up the lever and out comes the cork. Now as cool as this product looks, they are big. Whilst they do work, it’s a little clunky and takes some getting used to.
Air Pump Wine Opener
This is an interesting device. And if you think you’re not going to look a bit funny doing it, think again. I don’t often see these being used but they work very well. The air pump opener allows its needle to pierce the cork, and by manually pumping the opener up and down, you are filling the bottle with air in such a way that the cork slowly starts to inch out. Bit more pumping and it’s out. Even whilst I’m writing this, I can remember how silly I looked and felt doing this – but it worked – and ultimately that’s all I care about. And it worked well!!
Two Prong Cork Puller
I can’t tell you how much I love this device. I’ve always got this handy. Again, this also does what it says on the tin. The two prongs slide past the cork and grip it, and a smooth pulling action always yanks the cork out. What’s so great about this product is, if your cork has broken on you, or it’s a vintage bottle of wine and the cork is old, then this is my go to product every time.
Electric Wine Opener
For many, I know I’ve saved the best for last. The ultimate lazy boy device for all people who just can’t be bothered to fiddle around with a wine opener. Just place this device on the top of a wine bottle, press a few buttons, endure the whirling sound and out comes the cork.
Below are a few reviews about wine openers and we’ve picked out the best ones. I categorised in my mind the products into 2 areas:
1) Did they work?
2) And how easily?
Natural Rosewood All-in-one Waiters Corkscrew – Best Waiter’s Wine Opener
Without a shadow of a doubt, this is my favourite wine opener on the planet. Just look at it. It’s small, smooth, sleek, fits easily into a pocket and works each and every time. This product is often used by sommeliers, waiters and bartenders internationally for the simple reason that it does the job with ease (irrespective of the type of cork).
The worm (the twisty bit that goes into the bottle) is made of high quality steel and is perfect for removing natural or synthetic corks with just a few twists. This wine opener has a small foil cutter nearly tucked into the body which is made of 420 Stainless Steel.
This product comes with a wood grip and has a feel to it that is like no other wine opener in its class. I can not recommend this product enough. It’s a MUST HAVE.Buy Now On Amazon
Wing Corkscrew Wine Opener by HiCoup – Best Winged Wine Opener
This is one sturdy wine opener and my wife absolutely loves it. She wouldn’t use any other corkscrew but this one. It’s very simple to use. You twist the handle until the work is inside the cork. Whilst you are doing that you will see that the wings will rise up. Once you’ve done this, you just press down on the wings and up comes the cork.
It’s very comfortable to hold and use and the beauty about this wine opener versus the waiters wine opener, is that you don’t have to keep tugging or negotiating with the cork. The winger opener just lets you pull that cork up with ease.
For anyone struggling with a waiter’s wine opener, this is just AMAZING!!Buy Now On Amazon
If you’re reading a post like this the chances are you would have heard of Coravin. They are literally a game changing product. Designed by an ex NASA engineer, this wine opener / wine preserver came out of left field. It’s actually genius in the way it approaches both opening and storing wine. The worm of the opener is very long and very thing, and once inserted into the cork, allows the device to gently pump in some argon gas. Once this has happened, the Coravin also allows you to pour out just one glass of wine from a bottle without removing the cork.
Given that cork is a living, breathing material, that once you take out the worm, the natural cork will seal itself. Simply brilliant. But with this brilliance comes a few issues. The first is the price. This is by no means a cheap product and given that you are pumping gas into the bottle – you constantly need to buy more gas.
Nonetheless, you can do what I do, own the product and only use it if one of you wants red wine and one of you wants white and you don’t want to pull the corks out of either. It’s the compromise wine opener ( well it has been for me and Mrs 12).Buy Now On Amazon
Automatic Lever Style Corkscrew Wine Bottle Opener – Best Lever Wine Opener
Imagine pouring a pint in a British Pub. I don’t mean grabbing a bottle of beer. I mean really pouring an actual pint, you know grabbing the handle and pulling down so that the delicious liquid flows from the keg through the lines and into the pint glass. Well if you just image, that’s the only skill set you need to have to use this wine opener.
You simply place this device on top of the wine bottle, and use the lever to push the worm down into the cork. Once that’s done, you just as easily lift up the lever – and out comes the cork.
I don’t think this is the type of product I’d personally use all the time, however, if you are struggling with just getting the needle into the cork, this works well because it lines it up for you perfectly.Buy Now On Amazon
The Wine Pump Opener – Best Wine Pump Opener
This wine opener, as much as I joked may make you look a little bit silly, but it works well. This inexpensive and very small wine opener has one purpose and that’s to help you open your bottle of wine without any pulling and any twisting. Once you push the needle into the cork, it’s a few pumps and out comes the cork.
Whilst I know I wouldn’t use this all the time, I can see how there’s a market of people who worry about breaking their cork and would rather use a device that’s so easy to use.Buy Now On Amazon
This product is made in Germany and works very well with synthetic corks and weaker or older corks. I’ve always got one of these to hand. Especially when drinking some great fine wines. The high end steel prongs glide past the cork and grip it. And with it’s comfortable and easy to hold handle, allows you to pull the cork out with relative ease.Buy Now On Amazon
Secura SWO-3N Stainless Steel Electric Wine Opener – Best Electric Wine Opener
Now for people who just can’t be bothered with all the pulling, twisting, yanking, hoping, praying – then say hello to the best electric wine opener on the market. It’s sleek look will allow it to fit in with any kitchen decor. This product is of course cordless and comes with a nice charging station (which also stores a provided foil cutter).
What’s fantastic about this product is that it has a transparent shell that covers the needle; all the while helping you to line up with the cork on the first go. Then, it’s just a matter of waiting 8 seconds. That’s it. Just 8 seconds later and you’ve got access to your delicious wine.
By now, if you haven’t guessed it, I’m rather partial to my waiter’s wine opener, my wife to the winged ones and I always need the prong wine openers handy anyway. But the one surprise that came out of this exercise was that I actually enjoyed using the electric wine opener. Whilst my wife wasn’t happy about losing another outlet in her kitchen (and some space), it looked wonderful and just worked almost every time. In fact, with one charge you could open up to 30 bottles, but then again, if you’re still standing after 30 bottles, I’m guessing a wine opener is not what you’ll be needing…