Which corkscrew to buy?

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Lots of customers ask us which corkscrew to buy. We currently sell five different types of cork remover. We have something for every budget and every cork. As there is a bit of choice I thought it might be useful to put together a guide to help you make a decision as to which one is right for you.

Corkscrews are first mentioned in about 1680, although it wasn’t until 1795 that Reverend Samuel Henshall received the world’s first patent for a corkscrew. This was an improvement on the basic wooden-handled steel worm. A disk was added to the device to stop the user from screw too deep into the cork and giving some purchase when removing the cork. You need a bit of strength to get the cork out using one of these. Luckily, cork removers have come a long way since then.

ScrewPull Corkscrews

le creuset activ-ball corkscrew

These corkscrews are specially coated and use double helix self pulling and auto-ejection technology so that you don’t have to do any work when removing a cork. You just turn the corkscrew clockwise and the cork comes out with no pulling. If you continue turning once the cork is out of the bottle then the cork will come easily off the screw. These are incredibly easy to use. They aren’t the cheapest option but they are one of the most popular. For Christmas 2020 we will be stocking the Activ Ball by Le Creuset. If you are looking for a screwpull corkscrew then this is one of the best.

Butterfly Corkscrew

These are some of the most popular and inexpensive corkscrews but they can be unreliable. Available from any supermarket or homeware shop. The chunky screw has a tendency to shred and break corks and the levers on the side often fail to remove the cork first time. We think you could do better.

Waiter’s Friends/Sommelier’s Corkscrew

These are one of the most popular types of corkscrew with serious wine lovers. They are simple, sleek and easy to use. We stock the very simple ‘pullparrot’ corkscrew which incorporates a notch on the side which helps to lever out the cork.

Sommelier’s Corkscrews come from the inexpensive to the designer. We also have a great example made by Ligne in France. These are made out of old Burgundy wine barrels and every corkscrew is unique. They make beautiful gifts.

Air Pressure Cork Remover

This is one of the most fun cork removers we have seen on the market and we are seriously considering adding these to our range. Firstly, insert the needle into the cork and then pump a couple of times. The cork is removed using air. Great fun to use. The minus point is that you need to replace the air capsule every 60-80 bottles. It might not be for everyone but this makes a really fun Christmas gift.

Butler’s Thief

Butler's Thief Bottle Opener

Two-pronged cork remover which is fabulous for removing difficult or long cork from bottles. There is a bit of knack to using this gadget but lots of our customers swear by this for removing corks from old bottles of wine without any damage. An original gift for a wine collector. Find out more here.

Lever ‘Rabbit Ears’ Corkscrew

These are top of the range corkscrews. They are expensive but they are incredibly easy to use. Just place the screw on top of your bottle and then use the lever to remove with very little effort. A great gadget. The only downside, apart from the price, might be that it takes up a lot of room in the kitchen drawer.

Finally, let’s not forget about opening champagne and sparkling wine. This is often more difficult than you might suppose. Firstly the cork can stick and then there is the worry about it flying off across the room not to mention exploding champagne. We’ve tried lots of openers over the last few months and our favourite is this stylish star opener from Le Creuset. So easy to use it makes opening every bottle a pleasure.