This is where it begins. Your next big crush. Your new favorite bottle. And it’s time to make the first move.
They say the best wine is the one you haven’t tried yet. And that the best way to learn about wine is by drinking a lot of (good) wine. Whether you’re on a quest for knowledge, enjoyment, or both, every wine journey starts with one simple act: opening a bottle.
It might seem simple, but you would be surprised how many people ask for help with this. So in this article, we’ll show you how to open a bottle of wine confidently.
This technique will help you avoid broken corks or unwanted splashes. All it takes is one tool and a few simple moves. Master this, and you’ll look like a pro.
What You'll Need
- A two-step (double-hinged) waiter’s corkscrew (wine key.)
- A bottle of wine with a standard cork.
- A serviette or clean cotton dish towel.
Wine Key Anatomy
- The knife: This is the small serrated blade at the top of your wine key. Keep it tucked neatly away until it’s time to use it.
- The worm: This is the screw. The pointed metal coil that you twist into the cork.
- The boot lever: This is “foot” that sits on the lip of the wine bottle and gives you the leverage needed to remove the cork.
- Hold the bottle upright, firmly, at the base of the neck.
- Open the knife on your wine key and place it just underneath the lip at the top of the bottle. Make a long, smooth slice to cut through the foil. Repeat on the other side until you’ve cut entirely through the foil and around the neck.
- The foil at the top of the bottle is now separated from the rest of the neck, like a “cap.” Make another cut up the side of this foil “cap.”
- Peel away the foil “cap.”
- Put the foil in your pocket. If the foil band remaining on the wine, below the lip, feels jagged, smooth it down by pressing it into the bottle.
- Open your wine key so that the level and handle form a straight line and the worm forms a 90-degree angle.
- Place your index finger along the worm and guide the tip of the worm into the center of the cork. Twist the worm straight into the cork until only the top coil is visible.
- Rest the first foot of the lever of the first step on the bottle.
- Holding the foot against the bottle, lift the handle to leverage the cork up halfway.
- Repeat with the second foot.
- Right before the cork is about to come out, gently guide the cork slightly to the side to release any gas so that the bottle opens silently. We want to avoid any loud sounds.
- Twist the cork off the key. Put your wine key in your pocket, and present the cork (if you’re with friends.)
- Using your serviette or dish towel, wipe the top of the bottle.
- You are now ready to pour! Enjoy.