A good corkscrew is invaluable. The last thing you want when you open a bottle of wine is to fuss around with a complicated wine opener, especially if everyone is watching you during the cork removal. There are several different styles of wine openers, including some that look like they take an engineering degree to operate, but don't be put off by all the options.
The best wine opener is one that you find easy to use, whether you're a wine lover that opens several bottles of wine every week or a casual wine drinker that opens a bottle every once in a while. Functionality beats style in any good wine opener; if it works and if you find it comfortable to use, don't worry about what it looks like. You may also want to keep a couple of different types of wine openers on hand, since some work best with natural corks or corks in older bottles of wine, while others are good for newer and synthetic corks as well.
Peak holiday adulting: geeking out over my new electric wine opener.
— eri gold (@erinlenzswagg) December 24, 2020
The twist corkscrew is the original corkscrew, invented back in 1795. One of the simplest wine openers you can find, the t-shaped tool has a handle on the top and a worm (the metal part that goes into the cork) perpendicular to the handle. But you're more likely to see the waiter's friend used by servers and sommeliers in restaurants and wine bars across the world today. Sometimes called a wine key, this hinged version of the twist corkscrew has a foil cutter on one end and a hinge on the other that provides leverage to help pull out the cork. It's small and easily-carried, plus it's easy to use.
The lever corkscrew is the fastest way to open a bottle of wine, plus it's easy on the hands. You fit the corkscrew on top of the bottle, push the handle down to insert the worm, then pull the handle back up to remove the cork. The winged corkscrew also uses a handle to exert enough pressure to pull out a cork, but from two wings. These wine openers tend to be larger and a little clunky.
Electric wine openers, or automatic wine openers, are designed to be easy to use with no twisting, pushing or pulling. There are also several brands of wine openers that do more than just open the bottle. Some of these gadgets add an aerator, pourer, or preservation system.
We've taken a look at all the wine bottle openers out there; here are 10 of our favorites.
Brabantia Classic Corkscrew
So if you're going to get a twist wine opener, get the Brabantia Classic Corkscrew. It's one piece that includes a foil-cutter and easily centers the worm, plus the thumbwheel makes it a more ergonomic option.
Truetap Waiter's Corkscrew
Truetap's waiter's corkscrew is far less expensive than most other corkscrews, but the low price doesn't mean it's cheap. The easy-to-use wine opener works on both natural and synthetic corks. If you're looking for this one on Amazon, make sure it's the real thing since there are even cheaper knockoffs for sale.
Le Creuset Waiter's Friend
This waiter's friend is a classic. It's easy to use and has a comfortable handle, plus there's a built-in bottle opener for your non-wine bottles, too.
Trudeau Turbo Double-Lever Corkscrew
This waiter's corkscrew is popular with those who have to open bottle after bottle of wine for work because it requires fewer turns and less effort. It's also durable and not expensive, making it a great home wine opener, too.
Belwares Ah So Wine Opener
Wine enthusiasts like the Ah-so because it's a great puller for older bottles of wine. This solid stainless steel wine opener removes corks by sliding two prongs on either side of the cork. The pressure from the prongs allows you to pull the cork out without damaging it, which is great for brittle corks.
OXO SteeL Vertical Lever Corkscrew
OXO is well-known for its ergonomic kitchen tools and this lever corkscrew is a good example of the company's reputation.
Brookstone Compact Wine Opener
This lever wine opener works quickly and easily, and is durable. It works best with natural corks
OXO SteeL Winged Corkscrew
If you're going to get a winged corkscrew, this is a good one. It has a removable foil cutter and a comfortable and easy to turn knob, plus it's less clunky than most versions.
Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener
This rechargeable electric wine opener has a super small charging base, a foil cutter and can open up to 30 bottle on a single charge. It's also inexpensive and makes a great gift.
Secura Electric Wine Opener
Another great electric corkscrew is the Secura. You can open about 30 bottles in a single charge. The charging base is small, which makes it easy to fit anywhere.