The wrath of the grapes
With the holiday season officially beginning this week, there’s one thing that most everyone can agree to be thankful for: the free-flowing wine at virtually every gathering. And while we wait for the vintners to realize that screw-top corks don’t carry the same stigma as they used to, we still have to uncork every bottle before raising our glasses to toast all the stuff that makes us want to drink in the first place. As always, we here at the Reno News & Review have you covered.
Lever Action Corkscrew
This is the Rolls Royce of corkscrews. Place the corkscrew over the wine bottle and pull the lever to the left, then the right and you’re ready to drink. Le Creuset doesn’t mess up the design by trying to include a foil-cutter in the device. The Screwpull LM400 is a tad heavy (weighing over four pounds), and gauging how much force it takes to turn the lever, you’ll need to take a few tries to perform the operation smoothly. But after a few bottles, you’ll be opening your wine quickly and gracefully. The Screwpull LM400 performed perfectly on both natural and synthetic cork. If your drink of choice is Two-Buck Chuck, you may not want to plop down the $150 for the Screwpull LM400, though sometimes a fresh paint job can make even the worst car look like a Rolls Royce. Or maybe a Hyundai.
Tired of getting screwed by corkscrews? Cork Pops offers a breath of fresh air with their Legacy wine opener, “as seen on the hit show Desperate Housewives.” A needle is inserted into the cork, delivering a shot of air into the bottle, forcing the cork up out of the bottle: wine via physics. Unfortunately, it often proves to be theoretical physics. Only half of the attempts succeeded in opening the wine without the aid of another corkscrew. Natural cork seemed to fare better than synthetic cork. On one occasion, enough pressure built up to shoot the Legacy out like a champagne cork. For just under $30, it’s a great trick when it works, but it would take a Houdini of hooch to pull it off every time.
The Eurocork is the dark side of gadgets. An attached foil-cutter is garbage. The product has minimal, vague instructions and most importantly, this piece of shit just doesn’t work. According to the box, you position the corkscrew, press a button and the screw plows into the cork. That’s the only true claim. The $20 corkscrew tears up the cork and when you press the button to remove it from the bottle, nothing happens. After a few attempts you have more cork floating in the wine than you have above the bottle’s rim. Not even Two-Buck Chuck deserves this type of abuse. You’d be better off trying to bite the top off a bottle than subject it to Emsom’s Eurocork.