How to Open a Bottle of Wine (Video & Pictures)

How to open a bottle of wine with a “waiter’s friend” style corkscrew. FYI, these are the restaurant industry standard tool!

If you're going to do it, you might as well do it right.

How to Open a Bottle of Wine

  1. Cut the foil below lower lip.
  2. Insert the screw in the center of the cork.
  3. Rotate corkscrew 6 half turns.
  4. Lever cork out slowly.
  5. Wipe off any tartrate crystals or sediment with a napkin.

Here it is again in pictures:

  1. Hold the bottle of wine stationary.
    Hold bottle steady - how to open a bottle of wine with a waiter's friend
  2. Cut across the front, back, and top of the foil. Keep your fingers clear of the blade and the foil.
    Cut foil below pour spout of bottle
  3. Set the screw just off center and insert, rotating straight into the cork.
    Insert corkscrew just off center so that the corkscrew is centered
  4. Continue to screw into the cork until only one curl remains.
    Insert corkscrew till only 1 curl remains (or less)
  5. Lever on the first step, then the second, finally easing the cork out with your hand.
    use lever to easily hoist cork out of bottle using hands at finish

The most pragmatic wine opener
A waiter’s Friend

Before you learn how to open a bottle of wine you’ll need one essential tool, a simple waiter’s friend corkscrew. They are widely available at most grocery stores and cost around $8-15. Don’t get fancy. In nearly every case the waiter’s friend corkscrew will outperform other alternatives. Make sure it has a serrated blade, this will make cutting the foil much easier. Ready to start opening that bottle?

Wine Folly genuine pulltaps corkscrew - red color

Classic Double-Hinged Waiters Friend

Wine Folly now offers the first wine opener everyone should own. The double-hinged lever action makes it easy to use. We also love how efficient the serrated edge cuts foils of all kinds. This is one of the most popular wine openers of all time.

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Next Up: Pouring Wine

Now that you’ve opened your bottle of wine, up next, here’s a great tip on pouring wine without dripping (or messing up the label).

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Transcript

I’m going to show you my favorite way to open a bottle of wine. I like to use a corkscrew called a waiter’s friend. This one is a pull tap style opener. It’s easier because it has a two step lever, a serrated foil cutter, and a thin screw or spiral. The whole corkscrew is small and I like it because it costs only about $6.

I’m going to use this waiter’s friend to open a bottle of wine. First, cut the foil once around the front and once around the back. I like to cut across the top to make it easier to remove. *bam*

Insert the screw just off center. And rotate it to be parallel, going straight into the cork. You’ll rotate the waiter’s friend six and a half turns. The screw will have just one curl left if you’ve done it right. Start levering on the first step and then move up to the second. You can ease the rest of the cork out with your hand. As you can see there is one curl left on the screw with this particular type of waiter’s friend. It’s not too long so it hasn’t pierced the cork. That’s good. *throws cork* *hot sloppy wine pour* *daemon*

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About Madeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly