Corkscrew Base Camp
Have you ever considered what makes a good corkscrew? Obviously, it should successfully allow you to enjoy that glass of wine. But in addition to that, there are a few other factors to consider:
1. Opening the wine should require as little brute force as possible
2. The cork should be kept intact – no shredding or breakage
3. The screw should go into the cork in a straight line to avoid breaking the cork or the screw
4. The pulling action should not shake the bottle, to avoid disturbing the sediment, if any
5. Safety first -- using the corkscrew should result in no explosions, cracked glass, broken corkscrew, or injuries
6. It should work on all types of bottle necks, including the flanged types
So, now that we know what a corkscrew should do for us, what types are available to consider? A wide, wide range is the answer. Corkscrews cover the gambit, from simple implements that require the user to do all the physical work of extraction to high-tech models that, to some degree, replace human exertion with mechanical function.
A popular, inexpensive model – considered a classic by most - is the waiter's corkscrew, so-called because it’s the favorite of waiters around the world. After inserting the screw into the middle of the cork, the recessed end is placed firmly against the lip of the neck of the bottle. Then, using the attachment as a support to put counter-pressure on the bottle neck, the user pulls up to remove the cork.
The screwpull features a long, strong screw made of relatively thin but strong wire, often coated with Teflon. The frame is used to center the screw and is held tightly around the bottle’s neck. The screw should enter the cork’s center and when it is completely in the cork, each turn of the handle moves the cork up by a pitch distance of the screw.
Another classic is the simple "T" type corkscrew where the user screws the worm into the cork and pulls, hard, to remove the cork. They are available in an infinite variety of handles, shaft decorations and mediums (silver to plastic to wood), but all require some brawn to successfully and efficiently remove a wine cork.
The two handled corkscrew is a device that uses a gear and rack mechanism to turn the handles into efficient levers when pulling the cork. Easy to use, this is a highly popular option for cork extraction.
Finally, there are a growing number of hand-held corkscrew machines available in the market today. All of these have bottle clamps that hold the bottle neck in the corkscrew for ease of handling. The lever typically swings over the top, taking the cork out in a couple of easy movements.
So, there are lots of options; for the strong and not so strong, mechanically inclined and those just looking for a fail-safe opener.