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Best Wine Tool: The Corkscrew

This simple gadget earned its name for being sturdy, reliable, and small enough to slip into a server's pocket.

Everyday Food, March 2007

Why It's Best
A waiter's friend relies on simple leverage to remove the cork; this allows a bit more control than other standard corkscrews. It's also very light and compact; all the parts fold up inside the handle, like a pocket knife, making it convenient and portable.

How to Use It
There are four parts: the handle, foil cutter, screw (spiral or "worm"), and bottle rest. Start by setting the bottle on a table. Open the foil cutter, and use to remove the metal wrapping from the top of the bottle. Firmly twist the screw straight down into the middle of the cork (which can break if the screw is at an angle). Tilt the bottle rest against the lip of the bottle, and while applying light pressure, slowly pull up the cork.

What to Buy
You'll want one that's made of chrome or stainless steel. The handle should be smooth and comfortable to grip, and the other parts easy to pull out and push in. Worms with five full turns can reach through any cork. Most bottle rests, like the one pictured here, have built-in bottle-cap openers.

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