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Which Corkscrew Is Best?

Which Corkscrew Is Best?

Red wine, white wine, it doesn’t matter; I could go for either. Where I get stuck is how to pop the cork. It’s happened, many times, where everyone is sitting around the Shabbos table waiting for the wine to be opened and it’s just not going. The cork gets stuck halfway and it won’t turn anymore, or it splinters and falls into the wine bottle and I’m left with pieces of cork floating around in my Kiddush. Neither are good options when all I want is to open a bottle of wine. 


The good news is there is a way to prevent this, and it all depends on the corkscrew. Not all corkscrews are created equal. There are a variety of corkscrews that offer different features and levels of simplicity in opening that coveted bottle of wine. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the top four.


The Waiter’s Corkscrew

There’s a reason almost every waiter has one of these handy! This is a great corkscrew for almost every occasion! It’s low-tech but effective, and it’s compactness makes it ideal if you need to transport it.




  •  Usually comes with a built-in foil cutter
  •  Works well with any type of cork, including synthetic corks
  •  Good for dry and aged corks
  •  Easy to transport or slip into a pocket
  •  Requires more agility
  •  May take a few tries to get
  •  Includes a bottle opener


The Ah-So Corkscrew

Also known as the Butler’s Friend Corkscrew, this variety is best for older, dry corks. While sticking a screw into the cork might cause it to crumble, with this device you simply slip the prongs on either side of the cork and gently wiggle and twist it until it’s free of the bottle.




  •  Inexpensive
  •  Compact
  •  Useful for dry and aged corks
  •  Requires strength and stability
  •  Harder to use


The Winged Corkscrew

One of the most popular corkscrews on the market, this style is a good compromise between ease, aesthetic and size. While not as compact as the Waiter’s Corkscrew or as easy as the Screwpull Lever Corkscrew, it’s a good option to have around because it will serve you well in a large variety of situations.




  • Easy to use
  • Requires very little strength
  • Inexpensive
  • Not good for dry, aged corks
  • Can push synthetic corks into the bottle
  • Includes a bottle opener


The Screwpull Lever Corkscrew

Many people refer to this as “the Rabbit”, after a popular brand. This kind of corkscrew clamps onto the neck of the bottle, and with a simple turn of the lever, sticks the screw all the way into the cork. Pulling the lever in the opposite direction easily removes the cork from the bottle.




  •  Easy to use
  •  Requires very little strength
  •  Many brands offer replacement spirals for when they become dull
  •  Requires more storage space
  •  Sometimes pushes the cork further into the bottle, creating a spray when it removes the cork
  •  May harm older, fragile cork 


So, to the discerning customer, which one would you choose?


This article originally appeared in Divine magazine.