How to Open a Bottle of Wine
Learning how to open a bottle of wine is an essential skill to learn for entertaining guests at your next party or gathering. If you are like me, your only wine opening experience probably involved a corkscrew with two lever handles that did nothing but snap corks in half, leading to a ruined bottle of wine and failed attempt to impress your peers.
The biggest secret to opening a bottle of wine, is to use a simple waiter's corkscrew. The aptly named waiter's corkscrew is what your waiter or sommelier uses to open your wine, and is a simple no-frills tool that gets the job done every time. A waiter's corkscrew comes with a serrated foil knife and integrated lever. Our favorite waiter's corkscrew is the Pulltap corkscrew, which sports an extremely attractive compact design, is highly functional and durable, and can be had for under $10. If you're using something with two handles, a complicated lever system, or multiple parts, throw that garbage away or gift it to someone else and get yourself a waiter's corkscrew! Once you know how to pop open a bottle of wine, you will be ready to pair food with wine.
1. Cut the foil from the bottle of wine using the serrated knife on your waiter's corkscrew. Use the bottom of the lip of the bottle as a guide for your knife, keeping it flush as you rotate the bottle against the blade. After you've rotated the bottle 360° you can pull upwards with the knife just as you would if you were peeling a vegetable with a paring knife. Peel off the foil and wipe the bottle clean of any excess debris with a kitchen towel.
2. Hold the corkscrew so that the tip is pointed downwards, and center it on the cork. Gently push the corkscrew into the cork and begin to twist the corkscrew. Keep turning the corkscrew until you've reached the last notch, which should still be exposed.
3. Next, pull out the lever from the waiter's corkscrew and place it on the lip of the bottle. If you're using a Pulltap or other corkscrew that comes with a two-step lever, start by using the second notch. Hold the lever and the bottle in one hand and pull on the handle of the waiter's corkscrew to begin lifting the cork from the bottle. When the cork is halfway exposed, switch to the first notch of the lever, and then repeat by continuing to pull upwards on the handle. Once the cork is almost fully removed from the bottle, grab the cork with your hands and wiggle and pull it out with a little force.
4. It's important to use your hands as opposed to the waiter's corkscrew to finish removing the cork, so that the cork stays intact and undamaged. You should hear a satisfying *POP* as you remove the cork from the bottle. Now you're ready to enjoy your bottle of wine. Cheers!