A bottle of wine is completely worthless if you don’t have a way to open it. Most quality wine bottles will have a cork to prevent oxygen from getting in, keeping the wine fresh and ready for consumption.
But without the right tools, corks can be almost impossible to remove from a wine bottle as they expand to fit the bottleneck.
This is where corkscrews come into the equation - they’re a tool used to remove the cork effectively.
If you don’t use a corkscrew in the right way, then the cork may break up into the wine - which is the last thing you want if you’re looking forward to a refreshing glass of your favourite wine.
Keep reading to find out about the different types of corkscrew, and how to use them effectively.
How To Use Different Types Of Corkscrew
There are a variety of different types of corkscrew you can use to remove a cork from a wine bottle, and some are more difficult to use than others.
Keep reading for our guide to using various different corkscrews effectively.
The winged corkscrew is probably the type of corkscrew you’re most familiar with. You can identify a winged corkscrew by the ‘wings’ or ‘arms’ that hang either side.
They’re popular because they’re effective and easy to use, and can pull out a synthetic cork with little effort or strength in a matter of seconds.
Because of the design of winged corkscrews, you don’t have to worry about getting the angle right - it’s a simple and easy process.
If you’re a casual wine drinker, this corkscrew is sure to serve you well as it works effectively on a variety of corks and bottles, no matter the size.
However, if you have an aged bottle, it’s generally best to steer clear of winged corkscrews.
Aged bottles will often have sensitive or brittle corks, and the force of pulling out the cork with this type of corkscrew may damage or split the cork - which is the last thing you want to happen with a bottle of wine you’ve been ageing and saving for years.
Winged corkscrews aren’t as portable as other types of corkscrews (for example, waiter corkscrews), and may not fit in your pocket, but you can still carry them around with you in a bag.
How To Use a Winged Corkscrew
To use a winged corkscrew effectively, you start by cutting the foil around the bottleneck and remove it.
Then, insert the worm (the spiral part in the middle of the corkscrew) into the middle of the cork. You don’t need to use too much force to do this, as corkscrews are often soft.
After that, simply twist the lever of the corkscrew to insert the worm into the cork, and continue twisting until the arms/ wings are fully raised.
Once the wings are raised, push the wings together - this removes the cork from the bottle.
Then, to remove the cork from the corkscrew, turn the corkscrew handle anticlockwise.
Waiter corkscrews, or wine keys, are perfect for portable use, and often used by front of house staff in bars and restaurants.
They’re lightweight and easy to carry around in your pocket, and can even fold up like a Swiss army knife, which is why they’re nicknamed waiter corkscrews.
This type of corkscrew is also easy to use - it features a lever, and allows you to rest the corkscrew on the top of the bottle, making it easier to pull the cork out.
Although you don’t need to apply much strength at all to operate a wine key/ waiter corkscrew, you do need to know how to work it.
Once you know how to use a wine key, removing the cork from wines will take seconds.
It’s important that you learn how to use a wine key before using it on an expensive or aged wine, as incorrect use can result in a broken cork, or bits of cork floating in the wine.
How To Use A Waiter Corkscrew
It’s not too difficult to use wine keys - although they’re easier to use than screwpull corkscrews, they still require a bit of skill or practice to use them effectively.
The first step of the process is removing the foil from the wine’s bottleneck - it’s generally best to cut the foil instead of trying to rip it.
In fact, many wine keys will also have foil cutters to make the job quicker and easier.
Then, place the worm into the centre of the cork and twist the corkscrew around to insert the worm in the cork.
Next, place the small lever notch onto the bottle lip and hold it there, and lever the handle up to remove the cork halfway out of the bottle.
The next stage is where the skill comes in - move the second lever notch to the bottle tip and pull the rest of the cork out of the bottle.
It’s easy to remove the cork from the worm - simply reverse the corkscrew motion while keeping hold of the cork.
The electric corkscrew requires little to no effort. This type of corkscrew is popular with older people who don’t have the strength to use a standard corkscrew - but others use it simply for its ease of use.
Typically, electric corkscrews are powered using either built-in batteries that charge on a base, or replaceable batteries that you can simply replace as they die.
Because they are so convenient and easy to use, they are often more expensive than most other types of corkscrew.
However, it’s worth it due to the time and effort you’re sure to save by using one.
How To Use an Electric Corkscrew
This corkscrew is by far the easiest to use, as it does all the work for you.
All you have to do is remove the foil from the bottle, and place the corkscrew on top of the bottleneck so it’s sat vertically.
Then, turn it on and it will automatically remove the cork for you. Simple!