How To Open a Wine Bottle (The Right Way)

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.

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The six easy steps to open a wine bottle the right way.

The Right Way 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.

The most pragmatic wine opener

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 $15-20.

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?

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We found the best wine opener in Southwest France. Designed by the proprietor of Clos La Coutale and made to last.

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.


Opening a Wine Bottle Step-By-Step

  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

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Next Up: Pouring Wine

Now that you’ve opened your bottle of wine, the next step is serving like a pro. Hey, you know how to pour liquid out of a bottle, we have faith in you, but there are a few flourishes that will make your serving Sommelier worthy.

Capture Your Wine Story

Capture Your Wine Story

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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