by Margie Roelands, Vintner, Raimondo Winery
Waiter’s Friend – It is the basic folding corkscrew that folds up and can be easily held in your pocket. It is named for the fact that it is the traditional wine opener used by most restaurant servers and Sommeliers. It looks like a pocketknife and is a very versatile opener. Carry it in your pocket, suitcase, car, or use it at home. While different versions are offered at a wide range of prices, it is generally an inexpensive opener and sometimes is even a “giveaway” at a winery or wine event. It takes some muscle and some getting used to but it’s hard to beat for the price. Its usability and portability make it the perfect choice for a picnic or in a hotel room on vacation. Available in regular and double-hinged versions but the double-hinged version much easier to use.
Ah-So Opener – It’s the opener with two thin strips of metal that you slide down between the cork and the glass, then twist and pull to extract the cork. I wouldn’t recommend it for general use but it is good to have one around when you have a damaged or fragile cork.
Cork Pops (CO2 Injector) – There are several versions of the Cork Pops opener. Basically it is a handle with a long needle which is inserted down through the cork. Pressurized carbon dioxide is then injected which pushes the cork up from beneath. This is a cool gimmick and always impresses people but doesn't always work easily with all corks. Also, they do require replacement of the carbon dioxide cartridges occasionally, depending on how often you use it.
The Rabbit – There are a number of lever wine openers on the market, such as the Metrokane Rabbit and the Screw pull Elegance. They all seem to work about the same.
Electric Opener – Light and mobile, you simply remove the opener from its charger base, place it over the top of the bottle, and it removes the cork with a touch of a button. Then, with another touch of a button, it