No matter how much you love boxed wine, wine bottles and corks are not going out of style any time soon. Explore the major styles of wine openers to find the one that’s right for you; from the portable waiter’s friend to the old-hands friendly electric wine opener.
What’s the Best Wine Opener?
The Waiter’s Friend
Extremely portable but requires moderate skill.
I admit that this is the best wine opener out there for anyone who is a serious wino. A waiter’s friend has many variations, including the double-hinged model (pictured) which alleviates the brut-force required to remove a cork. The one pictured here has a wooden handle, available here.
Waiter’s friend corkscrews range from the modest ‘Pull-Taps’ to the Lamborghini-like ‘Laguiole.’
The Winged ‘Butterfly’ Corkscrew
Cheap and unreliable.
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This is the most commonly available corkscrew. There are many variations that are easier to use, but the one pictured to the left just sucks. The worm (the actual ‘screw’ part) shreads apart even the most well-made corks.
As much as we bash it, the ‘Butterfly’ style has potential, but you need to be picky. Check out this example of a ‘Butterfly’ corkscrew as a great example.
The ‘Bunny Ears’ Lever Corkscrew
Easy to use but expensive.
This is the best corkscrew for true beginners. It’s easy to use and has the satisfaction of the ‘pop’ of a cork included.
The only real drawback to this opener is that lever corkscrews take up a lot of drawer space. And if you live in New York City, you understand that drawer space comes at a premium.
Ogle at a 100-dollar corkscrew
The Table Top Wine Opener
Easy to use but expensive and takes up space.
This corkscrew style should be used more by restaurants with Wine-By-The-Glass programs. It’s easy to use whilst being visually appealing.
Perfect for Restaurants and Wine Caves For the wine collector who has everything, a table top wine opener is a great gift. Be prepared to spend $30-70 for a kickass one.
The Electric Wine Opener
Easy to use but embarrassing
My grandfather-in-law sent me one of these when he found out I was an avid wine drinker. At first I hated it, but it was just so easy to use. I used it for about a year straight before spring-cleaning sent it to Goodwill.
Perfect for the elderly or arthritis-weary wine lover This type of wine opener is awesome for people who have trouble opening things. No shame in that.
The Twist & Pull Corkscrew
The brut force method; hard to use but satisfying.
If you are a luddite then you probably already have a curated collection of Twist & Pull corkscrews. In fact, you’d probably love to see the largest collection of corkscrews in the world in Rioja at Vivanco
Twist & Pull corkscrews are hard to use and reserved for special moments when you need to show off.
The Ah-So Wine Opener
Hard to use. Designed for sensitive corks
If you open a lot of older bottles that are corked with natural cork then the Ah-So might be a great type of wine opener for you. An Ah-So is an elegant design, but you have to be careful not to push the cork into the bottle. You can find it here on amazon.com
Check out a variation for super old corks called the Durand Corkscrew
The Air Pump Corkscrew
Open your wine with science.
Do you really want a science project every time you open a bottle of wine? This opener can be a little unruly because of all the pumping involved. Many say that the internal pressure on the wine inside is bad. We believe this is a myth.
Save your money for a build-your-own rocket if you’d like to practice science at home.