Wine Blog

Uncorking a wine bottle like a pro

How many times you pushed the cork inside the bottle? Or cut the capsule in numerous pieces? Or used more force than necessary and your wine ended on the floor? Here comes the time to learn how to open a bottle of wine like a pro!

By Ania Smolec / December 11, 2014
Wine Journalist
Sommelier corkscrew

Sommelier corkscrew

No doubt: you need a corkscrew! And you need a good one! At wine shops you can find various types of corkscrews, simple or modern, fancy or classical, in many colors and designs, including some very modern ones, like the air pump corkscrew or the ones with incorporated thermometer to measure the temperature of wine.

Among them only one really deserves for your attention. This is a sommelier corkscrew. It looks like a Swiss pocket knife. The designer of this tool is German Karl Wienke who patented it in 1882.

Why it’s so good and recommended? It is very portable and easy to keep in your pocket or personal bag.

But be careful whenever you have to go through a metal detector. The airports have a whole collection of corkscrews.

Wing corkscrew

Wing corkscrew

Waiters and sommeliers love it also because it has two actions in one tool. With this type of corkscrew you can cut the metal capsule and take out the cork. With this corkscrew you need to practice a little bit, requires certain basic skills. But with our guide it will be very easy!

Many wine lovers prefer the wing corkscrew, also called butterfly corkscrew. It has two levers, one on each side of the worm. It was invented in 1939. While you twist the worm into the cork, the two levers raise. More pushing down the levers draws the cork from the bottle. The advantage of this tool is the simplicity of using it. The cork jump out practically in one smooth motion.

Why the professionals don’t appreciate this type? Because it has a tendency to tear apart even the best cork. You don’t want to have pieces of the cork in the wine!

The whole cork serves you to cover the bottle when you want to keep the wine for the other day. And even when the wine is finished, the cork is that funny souvenir which reminds you the wine, the company and moment of celebration. You can also use your corks for some DIY and decorate your home with several cork made decorations.

Step by step

DescorchadorDoesn’t it look spectacular when the sommelier opens the bottle of wine in few seconds? The bottle almost flies in the air, no drop of the wine is out of the bottle and the cork is the perfect shape.

But let’s not forget that sommeliers during their formation learn how to correctly open the bottle and they have years of experience. Be patient and concentrated, and most of all practice. Soon you will be a skill wine opener.

Starting to learn this ritual, it is reasonable to be careful with the bottle and wine, and to do each stage slowly. Hold your bottle in the vertical position. You can ensure the bottle by keeping in on the table.

With the little knife hidden in your corkscrew cut the metal capsule. The right line to make the cut is where the neck of the bottle meets whit the top of it. Cut around the bottle and the top of the capsule. Be careful with your fingers, lack of attention can cost you the cut of the skin with metal.

Set the screw just off center and insert, rotating straight into the cork. Continue to screw into the cork until only one curl remains. A lever on the first step, then the second, finally eases the cork out with your hand. An arm extends to brace against the lip of the bottle for leverage when removing the cork. And it’s done! Your wine is ready to serve.

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