October 28th, 2013

What is the best corkscrew to use?

Most of us remember not that many years ago when it was an absolute necessity to have a corkscrew to open every bottle of wine. Of course now there are many screw cap closures which provide an easy opening without the ritual of using one.

However most age worthy reds and treasured old bottles still require a corkscrew.

There are so many products out there on the market to choose from.  Even drill types with interchangeable bits!  Such a problem. What to use?

I started with the double lever style but quickly graduated to the reliable  “waiter’s style” single lever. Still a fav of mine particularly with that silicone coating on the screw. You have total control. Also have used successfully the “Screwpull” and the “Prong” (“AH-So”) types which have their place. However, the Screwpull goes right through the bottom of the cork which is the most fragile part and does not always work successfully on old crumbly corks.

Starting to prefer the last few years the “Durand” ( from Wining Taylors LLC in Atlanta Georgia. I used it this month to open a bottle of 1966 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste from Pauillac after a difficult cork experience on a previous one I opened.  Worked like a charm! Seems to always work though the instructions say “intended to remove only older fragile corks from bottles with an inside neck opening of approximately 3/4 inch”. The principle is a screwed helix into the centre of the cork until a stabilizer bar rests against the top of the cork  and then blades go down either side like the Prong to hold onto it. Expensive but very dependable and maybe worth it. Certainly check it out.

What is the best corkscrew for you to avoid the cork breaking or the risk of getting crumbly pieces of the cork falling into your wine?

What corkscrew do you use?

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October 28th, 2013

5 Responses

  1. Christopher Ankner says:

    Thanks for the Durand tip. Now I know what I’m getting for Christmas. I like showing off with antique double articulated corkscrews, but, no, they don’t really work well on old corks. Better than thge rabbit, which is the worst.

  2. Alex Bielak says:

    The Durand looks like an Interesting if expensive piece of kit. Probably too fiddly for most wines. I have several corkscrews and tend to grab whichever is handy. For tricky ones the double proger often works. Some of the silicone coated ones don’t work well on artificial corks. But then I’m not drinking many really old wines…

  3. Ian Westcott says:

    Durand is expensive but it the best by far for old/ crumbly corks. For big functions the Screwpull lever models hard to beat

  4. Durand is great. That and a pulltap are all you’ll ever need.

  5. John Danza says:

    I’ll chime in with being a lover of the Durand. It took me a while to break down and get one, but now I’m glad I have it. I open a lot of old port and it’s perfect for that, as well as other corks that are over 20 years old.

    For normal use, I always use a Screwpull. It’s perfect for every day corks.

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