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How to Use a Corkscrew

Currently in the stores there are three options for modern wine bottle closure: natural corks, synthetic corks and screw caps (yes, screw cap wine bottles!). For all that there is a variety of creative, electric gadget-driven corkscrews available on the wine accessory shelves. Yet, the traditional style corkscrew (also called “sommelier’s knife”) is the top pick for an easy and reliable wine bottle opening.

Using a basic, traditional wine corkscrew is a fairly straightforward endeavour.

The waiter’s friend resembles a contemporary, folding pocket knife with three main elements: the blade for cutting the bottle’s foil capsule, the 5-spiraled helix (also called a “worm”) and the metal lever for shimmying the cork out of the bottle neck.

You’ll just need to remove the wine’s capsule foil, center the corkscrew in the middle of the cork, twist down, then use the lever lip to leverage the cork up and out. Pour and enjoy the wine.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 1 minute

How to Open a Wine Bottle with a Traditional Corkscrew:

  • Use the knife or foil cutter to cut the foil or plastic capsule under the lip of the bottle neck.
  • Next, fold the foil cutting blade back in and then center the corkscrew’s auger or “worm” point in the middle of the exposed cork.
  • Rotate the handle of the corkscrew until auger is completely buried into the cork.
  • Once the corkscrew augur is secured into the bottle’s cork, open the metal lever and place the notched footing on the upper edge of the bottle lip. If there are two levers, make sure to wedge the longest lever onto the lip of the bottle and start to wiggle the cork up and out, using the the lever for, well…leverage, and gently pull up on the handle, slowly rocking from side to side, to slide the cork up the bottle neck.
  • Drop the cork, pour the wine and enjoy.


By Stacy Slinkard, AboutFood