Quick Recipes and Easy

Corkscrews – Friend Or Foe Of The Wine Lover

Most of us have seen, bought and thrown away an array of corkscrews during our life time. Found in the home, picnic hampers and even sitting in the office draw waiting for a excellent reason to crack open a bottle, corkscrews seem to litter our lives as our consumption of wine drinking continues to rise.

Each time we find an excuse to open a bottle of wine and delight in its content there lays one small and possibly painful hurdle in claiming this prize. Getting at its contents, or more to the point, removing the cork stopper, is the gate keeper to wine drinking heaven, and the tools for achieving it can become your friend or foe.

What can make removing the cork from your wine bottle a wrestling match ? Well that object we have lying in the draw or picnic hamper masquerading as a corkscrew can turn out to be as useful as a hammer for de corking a bottle of wine.

Corkscrews should provide a service, which is simply to extract the cork from the bottle without damaging its owner or the contents during the process.

The reality can be somewhat different. It can be very fiddly to get the screw point into the cork, and as you turn the screw the cork breaks, or during extraction falls apart. As you drive the corkscrew into the cork it passes through the bottom, pushing cork it into the wine.

Wrestling with your bottle and corkscrew you trap your fingers in the lever, the screw point slips and jabs you in the hand.

Extracting the cork is that last step once the screw has been inserted and even this can be hindered as the cork may have become adhered to the neck of the bottle during storage. This can make extraction by hand hard and further increase the potential of the cork break up.

Understanding the cause of this problem is crucial to making life and wine drinking a simpler and more enjoyable process. So assuming you have removed the foil or cage from the top of your bottle, lets get down to the specifics of wine bottle cork extraction.

Social causes of the wine bottle de-corking debacle.

Firstly, let’s go back to where this horrible tale starts, stood facing the shelf in your local store with corkscrew in hand, and a buying choice in mind.

The reason you buy a particular type of corkscrew is probably down to sex. Sorry, it’s not that type, especially not in the supermarket aisle. No, I mean your gender, male or female.

The ladies reading this would agree that its aesthetic qualities would probably be high on their agenda, and would give less thought to some of the practical and more dull elements of corkscrew design. Colour and packaging are probably major influences.

The men on the other hand might take the more dull and practical approach, checking out the leverage mechanisms and screw types.

Unfortunately though, it’s the more practical buying approach that will ensure the most distress free corkscrew buy.

How do you choose an effective corkscrew? Well there are 3 main factors that I like to call my SLS formula;


Cork is typically 45 to 50 mm long, so the screw length that will enter the cork should be shorter than this to stop cork break through.

Next, pick the right screw. There as basically two types of screw, wire and auger.

Wires screws are easily identified as they look like a spring coil or a pig’s tail. Augers on the other hand have a spiral flute.

The running argument in screw selection has been for some time flawed due to poor design and manufacture of such screws. It has been thought that the main reason for cork break up was due to cork displacement as the screw is inserted into the cork.

Wire screws appear narrower and in most cases they are, but with new screw designs like the “Ezee Screw” Auger cork displacement is minimized.

An additional benefit of auger screws is their self centralising nature which makes screw insertion simpler.

To aid in extraction a simple means of initially releasing or breaking the corks seal from the neck of the wine bottle is advisable to reduce the stress of de-corking and make leverage more comfortable. A excellent handle make it more comfortable.

Finally, a sheath or case makes storage and protection of the cork screw and the contents around it much simpler and safer.

Products such as the “Bell” type corkscrew combine all of the features above making removing cork from wine bottle without damaging its contents or the owner a cinch.

Don’t let the cork stop you enjoying your wine.

Bottoms Up!

@ Copyright 2007 Nicholas Windley

About The Author

Nic Windley is a business owner and nicwindley.com/ business growth consultant. An engineering graduate with over 10 years experience in sales, marketing and business development.

Qtable provides wine lovers with creative and effective qtable.com/gift-shop/corkscrews.html Corkscrews and qtable.com/gift-shop/bottle-stoppers.html Bottle Stoppers that make the wine drinking experience more enjoyable.

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