A Good Screw: 5 Secrets YOU Should Know!
by Alexis Beltrami
Ah, the pleasure of a good screw! Easing a reluctant cork out of its
bottle need not be an exercise in frustration and embarrassment. It's
a matter of knowing the moves and having a good tool.
1. First, know the basic principles. You'll have to strip the
protective foil from the top of the bottle; this may be done with
a knife (see #3) or, more cleanly, with a foil cutter, a handy little
$8 device. Don't be a sloppy Joe and try to use the tip of the corkscrew.
2. Choose your tool. Are you the hands-on type, who likes to
work it slowly? The waiter's
key is for you. Or are you the efficient type, who likes a quickie?
You'll love an Uncorking Machine. But the smooth operator will prefer
the Screwpull. No matter what kind of corkscrew you choose, the worm
(see diagram) should be long and a true coil-not merely a threaded
bore, which is liable to strip the cork. Ouch! Note: Teflon-coated
coils will aid in easier penetration.
3. Studs: The waiter's key is for the dedicated wine lover-it
requires lots of practice and patience, but is the most romantic way
to get the job done. Resembling a pocket knife, the waiter's key unfolds
to reveal a small blade for cutting the foil (pros know how to remove
the capsule in one swift circular cut), a worm, and a notched metal
foot. You insert the tip of the worm into the cork at an angle and
slightly off-center, then twist it into the cork, leaving a bit of
coil exposed at the top. Then fit the foot onto the lip of the bottle
and lift up on the handle, pressing down on the foot for leverage.
The cork will be inexorably drawn out. Try not to pop at the end and
splatter your wine.
4. Gearheads: If you just want to get the job done, and don't
mind paying for it, there are a number of heavy-duty tools that will
yank out a cork with one swift pull on a lever. Some, like the Professional
Uncorking Machine, clamp onto a bar or table and are massive. Others,
like the various Screwpull Lever models, are handheld. Most are well
5. Slicksters: Your secret weapon is the $20 Screwpull model,
which has two plastic legs that straddle the bottle neck, a very long
coated worm, and a small handle. You place the legs over the neck
and simply turn the handle, and the cork climbs right up the worm,
in a synchronized rhythm. The Screwpull is extremely easy, gentle,
and failproof, even on crumbly old corks.
Finally, if you're into kink, there are any number of bizarre devices
out there, like the one that pumps air into the bottle via a long
needle, causing the cork to pop out from below. But we won't go there.
wine tips from Laura De Pasquale, Wine Director, NORMAN'S