Anyone who enjoys a glass of wine every now and then has likely dealt with the frustration of being without a proper wine opener. A wine opener is an essential kitchen staple for those who enjoy a glass with dinner as well as those hosting guests or throwing parties. The best wine openers cleanly remove the cork without much effort, allowing you to enjoy your drink without worrying about swallowing bits of cork.
Wine openers vary by style, and there are models available for both the casual wine enthusiast and knowledgeable sommelier. The HiCoup Rosewood Premium Waiter’s Corkscrew is a reliable option that looks as great as it performs.
Decide whether you want a classic hand-operated opener or a newer, automatic model. The majority of wine openers are manual, but if you want an easier opening solution, an automatic model may be perfect.
While the convenience of an automatic opener is hard to beat, there are a few downsides. Automatic openers require an electrical outlet or rechargeable battery. In general, they are larger and not as aesthetically appealing as many manual options.
As far as manual wine openers go, there are four styles to consider. To see the complete buying guide, visit the BestReviews wine opener review.
Twist and pull corkscrew
This common style of wine opener is simple and often inexpensive but requires more effort and strength than other options. To use a twist and pull corkscrew, rotate and insert the screw into the cork before pulling up on the handle to remove the cork from the bottle.
Another classic type of wine opener, restaurant employees use a waiter’s corkscrew. This style operates in a similar way to the twist and pull model but includes a double-notched lever, making for easier cork removal.
With a different design and removal method than the previous two styles, winged corkscrews require less effort to use. You use a twistable top handle to insert the screw, then press on the two side levers, or “wings,” to easily remove the cork.
Also referred to as a rabbit corkscrew, this style has a unique appearance and often a significantly higher price tag. This type of corkscrew utilizes sturdy handles to keep the bottle steady and an easy-to-operate top handle to remove the cork in a matter of seconds.
Size plays a role when selecting the best wine opener, especially if you have limited storage or cabinet space in your kitchen. Twist and pull corkscrews and waiter’s corkscrews take up the least space and are the most portable options. The other styles are slightly larger yet still manageable for most kitchens.
Cheaply made corkscrews are likely to last only a handful of times before breaking. Choosing a model made from high-quality durable materials ensures you can open any bottle without a problem. As for the screw itself, known as “the worm,” stainless steel is a reliable material choice because it is strong and unlikely to bend. The worm should be at least 1 ¾ inches long for optimal performance. Having a durable wine opener can reduce the chance of the cork fracturing or breaking apart.
Each style has varying degrees of difficulty when it comes to ease of use. If you don’t want to or aren’t able to put the needed strength into using a twist and pull or waiter’s corkscrew, opt for a winged, lever-style or an automatic opener.
A wine bottle has a natural or synthetic cork. Different openers work better with different cork materials. Waiter’s corkscrews are an ideal multipurpose option, while winged corkscrews work well with synthetic corks and lever-style openers are best suited for natural corks.
Wine openers can range from $5 for the most basic twist and pull option to $50 for a quality lever-style opener. Expect to pay between $10-$25 for midrange winged and waiter’s corkscrews.
A. Red, white and rosé wines have different shelf lives once the cork is removed. Most reds last between two and five days before the flavor starts to deteriorate. Whites and rosés often keep up to a week when properly stored in the fridge.
A. If you find yourself needing to open aged bottles with delicate or fragile corks, opt for a waiter’s corkscrew because they are less likely to cause damage. This style of opener also is good for ports and dessert wines.
What you need to know: This rosewood corkscrew is an efficient wine accessory that won’t break the bank.
What you’ll love: The compact and portable size makes it easy to transport, while the classy appearance complements any kitchen. It also serves as a thoughtful gift idea for wine connoisseurs.
What you should consider: Some people had an issue with the foil cutter.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: The Fogo Luxury winged wine opener is durable and easy to use.
What you’ll love: While it may have a simple design, it has a sturdy feel and unbeatable price. This model comes with a bottle stopper to preserve leftover wine.
What you should consider: There have been a few reports of defective products.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This is designed for those searching for a smooth and extremely efficient wine opener.
What you’ll love: The durable construction and stable design allow this opener to open hundreds of bottles without a decrease in performance. It can remove both natural and synthetic corks.
What you should consider: This opener is only designed for standard-sized wine bottles
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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.