What Your Corkscrew Says About You

Opening a bottle of wine is like trying to woo a lover. The techniques and tools you use can say a lot about you. Do you favor finesse or brute force? Would you rather take your time, or do you just want to get the job done? Careful how you answer, because here’s what your corkscrew says about you.

The Basic

old corkscrews

You don’t see these too often anymore, except as wall décor at throwback Italian restaurants. But when you’re in a pinch, what more do you need than a piece of twisted metal and a handle to work it?

What you think it says: Did I ever tell you about that semester I spent in Paris?

What it really says: Check out my biceps as I rip this cork out of the bottle. Also, I might or might not record Antiques Roadshow.

The Sommelier

waiter corkscrew

You might recognize this type of corkscrew as part of the presentation of a wine bottle at a restaurant. First the foil is stripped away with a small blade, then the corkscrew is applied, and finally, the cork is levered out with the help of a couple notched hinges.

What you think it says: Opening a bottle of wine is a ritual that deserves attention and care. And compliments on my twisting technique.

What it really says: Yeah, I worked at a restaurant once. Watch while I ruin this cork.

The Butterfly

butterfly corkscrew

Probably the most popular style in the US (especially since it doubles as a beer-bottle opener), you just winch the spiraled blade into the cork, then use the winged levers on the outside to pry that sucker out.

What you think it says: I go for the practical, inexpensive model.

What it really says: You’re too lazy to buy your own corkscrew, so you stole an extra one from your parents’ kitchen drawer.

The Double Prong

prong corkscrew

Kudos if you actually recognized this archaic device as a corkscrew. The way it works is, you slide each of the prongs inside the bottleneck alongside the cork and then twist (and twist and twist) and pull until you get the cork out.

What you think it says: I like fine old wines, and I’m sensitive.

What it really says: Get comfortable, because it’s going to take me 20 minutes to get this cork out.

The Bunny Ears

rabbit corkscrew

So called because its two handles resemble rabbit’s ears, you use them to clamp down on the lip of the bottle, then push down on a lever to force the corkscrew through the cork and simply yank back up again to pull it out. Quick and efficient, if lacking in flair.

What you think it says: I care enough about wine to invest in some cool gear.

What it really says: I’ve wanted to work in a foundry since I saw Flashdance for the first time.

The Electric

electric corkscrew

No explanation necessary, really. Just pop this on top of your bottle, press a button, and wait for the cork to come out.

What you think it says: I’m a technological early adopter.

What it really says: I found an old Sharper Image gift card from my bar mitzvah and my fear of developing carpal tunnel from opening so many wine bottles made me buy it.

And here’s one more fun fact for you from the world of corkscrew nomenclature: The spiral metal part of the corkscrew that you drive down into the cork is actually called the “worm.” So try to work that into conversation, and the cork, as often as possible.

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