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Wine Bottle Openers

It is becoming easier to open wine bottles with the latest gadgets

There is nothing more satisfying that the pop that comes with the soft explosion of the cork from a wine bottle. In fact, most of us have more than one bottle opener tucked away in a kitchen or bar drawer.

The lucky ones will have a mounted version or table model. These elegant bottle openers may have a beautiful polished stone base complemented by antiqued pewter. These are really efficient and if you have the space, you should definitely purchase one for practicality as well as appearance.

The spiky corkscrew models are still around, too. For those who feel challenged by the simpler versions, many of these wine bottle openers now have sheaths that fit over the mouth of the bottle and help guide the corkscrew in a straight line through the middle of the cork. A twist top then uses reverse motion to remove the cork. This particular model has been my favorite for many years. In time, however, the plastic sheaths will break.

The waiter-style corkscrews are for the skilled server, although if you learn to master these junior-sized openers, it's a professional touch that will impress your guests.

You can graduate from manual models to electric or CO2 powered units with very little expense involved - usually under $20. Many of them will now fit the standard-mouthed and flanged-neck wine bottles. One such electric version requires 4 AA batteries. Another comes with a recharging unit. For the cylinder-powered models, you can purchase refills that promise to open up to 80 bottles before running out of gas.

One word of caution: electric and cylinder styles should not be used on half-empty wine bottles, on handblown or oddly-shaped glass bottles, and never on champagne bottles. Read the directions carefully and make sure that every potential use is familiar with the manufacturer's guidelines.

For champagne, use only an opener that is approved for the job. One such opener fits over the top of the bottle and extracts the cork safely with the use of a lever.

Remember that wine bottle openers make the perfect gift for so many occasions; from weddings and birthdays to new-home welcomes. Keep several on hand for last-minute wrap-ups for a party host or hostess.

You'll find that many wine bottle openers come in nicely-boxed packages ready for giving. Look for those that have pretty foil-cutters.

Whether you're a wine connoisseur or a novice, be sure to keep a variety of bottle openers on hand - you never want to get caught without a way to open that bottle of wine!


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