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Which corkscrew is the best?

Aug 27, 2023

Natural wine production concept. Fresh ripe bunch of grapes with metal corkscrew on the textured blue table. Creative image, top viewAlinakho/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

You’ll know you have levelled up as a wine geek when you bring a corkscrew with your bottle(s) to family gatherings. There is comfort in knowing you’ll have the right tool for the job and needn’t futz around with your aunt’s winged corkscrew.

The best corkscrew for you is whichever style you’re comfortable with – winged, continuous pull, lever or waiter’s friend – to effectively open the bottle. Electric models are useful for wine lovers with arthritis or limited hand strength.

That said, I have a strong preference for a sturdy waiter’s friend style corkscrew. It doesn’t need to have rosewood inlays or be fashioned from precious metal; it’s better if it’s unadorned. Save your money for what’s important, the bottles it will open.

My ideal corkscrew has a folding blade to cut away the top of capsule, a feature that winged corkscrews lack. (You can often remove the capsule by hand, but not always. Heat-shrunk plastic capsules usually need to be cut away.)

Beyond that tiny blade, a strong worm (that’s the screw) with a non-stick finish to slip easily into the cork or plastic closure and a double hinged lever for easy extraction are essential features in my estimation. I’m partial to the Pulltap brand because they have proven to be durable and dependable (except when they are confiscated from my carry-on bag by airport security.) The Trudeau and Koala versions are reliable, too. Knock-off brands break easily.

For less than $20, you can afford to leave it behind at your aunt’s, sister-in-law’s or mother’s house for the next festive occasion. The Pulltap Double-Lever Corkscrew is available to purchase at

How to open a bottle of still wine:

Remove the top of the capsule: pull it off by hand, use the knife of your waiter’s corkscrew or a special foil cutter/capsule remover. Traditionally, you’ll cut the foil just under the lip, to remove the top part, leaving the rest of the packaging intact. Cutting under the lip means the wine won’t touch the foil when pouring. Sommeliers would use a cloth to clean the neck of the bottle at this stage.

Centre the worm of the corkscrew in the middle of the cork. Screw it in gently and gently draw the cork out. Once removed, use the cloth to wipe around the inside and outside of the neck of the bottle to remove any residue or particles before pouring.