Wine Bottle Openers

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Wine bottle openers can be a little tricky to operate the first time out. After a bit of practice, however, opening a bottle of your favorite Chardonnay or Merlot will be just as easy as (if not easier than) drinking it. For those who've never opened a bottle of wine on their own, it's best to practice on an inexpensive brand before taking chances on a fine or even moderately priced bottle.

There are a few different types of wine bottle openers on the market to suit everyone from the purists to the completely maladroit. At the lower end of the ladder are standard waiters' corkscrews, which are nothing more than manual plastic-handled devices with metal screws. These require a touch of strength and dexterity, as there are no hydraulics or other automated parts to bail you out in a pinch. Then there are "rabbit-style" or lever corkscrews that boast specially tailored ergonomics and high-tech die-cast designs. Of course, there are a range of wine bottle openers in between.

More on Wine Bottle Openers

For those just beginning in their exploration of wine, these more advanced wine bottle openers can eliminate some of the anxiety that comes with tackling a new bottle. It's not uncommon for first-time waiters and bartenders to jinx themselves by obsessing on their fear of spoiling a bottle. The irony is, most bar and restaurant owners would much rather employees ruin an inexpensive bottle or two than shy away from selling wine, which features some of the highest price markup in the food and beverage business.

After a while, most waiters become so handy with a simple "winged" corkscrew that they can serve a bottle of wine while unloading entree dishes from their outstretched arms. If you're still a ways off from that balancing act, try practicing at home with the bottle openers that come standard with most wine kits. As they say, there's no better way to learn than through trial by fire.


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