How To Use A Wine Opener

Learning how to use a wine opener is an essential skill for an avid entertainer or wine lover. Standard wine openers or mechanical corkscrews require a little manual labor but are quick and simple to use with the proper technique.

Things you'll need:

  • Wine opener
  • Wine bottle
  1. Remove any foil coverings or seals from the wine bottle. While the tip of the corkscrew will pierce foil coverings or seals, the cork will be far easier to free if seals are broken and removed first. Many foil seals will have a small pull tab which makes for easy foil removal—or you must gently cut or pry away any paper tape or coverings from the mouth of the bottle instead.
  2. Position and center the wine opener. A standard wine bottle opener consists of two arms, a bottle ring place holder and a corkscrew with a top handle combined in one unit to allow the user to insert the corkscrew into the center of the cork. Safely and securely position the ring over the mouth of the wine bottle and use the “arms” for leverage in extracting the pressure-sealed cork. Begin by pulling up the “arms” or the two side levers of the corkscrew into their highest position. Holding the wine bottle firmly, screw the exposed tip of the corkscrew into the center of the bottle cork with two to three turns and allow the bottle-shaped ring to drop onto the mouth of the wine bottle.
  3. Fully insert the corkscrew into the bottle. Continue to insert the corkscrew by turning the top finger handle or grip until the grooves are fully inserted into the bottle cork, taking care to insure that the corkscrew remains centered through the cork. If you try to remove a cork out of the center, you risk breaking off bits of cork into the wine.
  4. Use the wine opener to lift the cork free (or nearly free) from the bottle. Once the corkscrew is fully inserted, apply gentle downward pressure onto both “arms” of the corkscrew tool. As the arms are depressed, the cork will lift up from the bottle opening. Short corks may fully extract on this first effort, while longer corks will require the next step to fully free them from the bottle opening.
  5. Physically pull the cork from the bottle with a steady, firm upward motion. If you have inserted the entire corkscrew into the cork, there should be no risk of pulling or breaking the cork. Be certain to pull upward with force and not side to side, as side to side motion may compromise the cork and leave a ring inside the bottle neck or break off fragments into the wine.
  6. Remove the freed cork from the wine bottle opener. The cork should be removed from the bottle opener by simply unscrewing it from the corkscrew grooves. Corks can hold onto the opener rather tightly, so you may need to apply some force to remove it from the opener.
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