Wine Folly Logo
Watch Wine Videos

How To Open a Wine Bottle (The Right Way)

- Updated

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-wine-in-pictures
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?

double-hinged-waiters-friend-corkscreew-best-wine-opener
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

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.

Buy the Book - Get the Course!

Get the Wine 101 Course ($29 value) FREE with the purchase of Wine Folly: Magnum Edition.

Learn More

AboutMadeline Puckette

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

Cover Image for The First 4 Wines You Must Try From Bordeaux

The First 4 Wines You Must Try From Bordeaux

It’s difficult to master Bordeaux but not hard get started enjoying this wine region by tasting the four major wine styles.

Read More
Cover Image for Opening 40-Year-Old Wine (Video)

Opening 40-Year-Old Wine (Video)

Opening old vintage wine is a once in a lifetime experience. Here are some things we learned while opening 40 year old wine. Get ready for a few surprises!

Read More
Cover Image for Love Chardonnay? Try Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon (Video)

Love Chardonnay? Try Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon (Video)

For those who love a rich Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon blends are a rare white wine treat worth investigating.

Read More
Cover Image for Getting Started With The Wines of France (Video)

Getting Started With The Wines of France (Video)

Get confident with the wines of France in this introductory seminar. You’ll learn about the 11 major regions and the best wines to explore.

Read More
Cover Image for Serious About Champagne? Here’s How To Taste It

Serious About Champagne? Here’s How To Taste It

Ever wonder how a wine professional assesses Champagne? Madeline walks through a wine tasting with a bottle of vintage Champagne from a notable producer.

Read More
Cover Image for 3 Tips On How to Read a Wine Label

3 Tips On How to Read a Wine Label

Beyond winery, region, and vintage, what else should you look for on a wine label? These tips are a clue to what’s inside the bottle.

Read More