Arguably, the most important wine accessory to own is a good wine opener. After all, what good is a bottle of wine if you can’t easily open it?
Like most kitchen and drinks gadgets, you’ve got options—and some are better suited to certain occasions than others. From a simple corkscrew wine opener perfect for tucking into a picnic basket or toting onto a boat, to a wall-mounted lever-style wine opener that’ll get guests talking at your next dinner party, the variety in wine openers is as wide as the universe of grape varietals is vast. (Okay, maybe not that vast, but definitely diverse!)
Below, we break down the different types of wine openers and when to use each style.
The Best Waiter’s Corkscrews
A waiter’s corkscrew includes a metal spiral, hinge (single or double) and serrated blade. The pocket-sized gadget is a favorite among sommeliers and wine directors working in restaurants and bars.
“If it is good for a professional to use when opening dozens of bottles a night, it will be ideal at home,” says Laura Koffer, vice president of wine at Wine Access, an online wine retailer.
To use a waiter’s corkscrew, carefully remove the foil capsule with the serrated blade. Insert the corkscrew at the center of the cork and screw in into the cork, slowly. Finally, draw the cork out gently, using the hinge or double hinge for leverage.