When it comes to opening wines sealed with cork, I use either one of two devices. Both are simple to master.
The first is the trusty waiter’s friend. You can buy these anywhere, ranging in price from a few dollars, right up to a few hundred dollars. Make sure you get one with the double hinge (which most do). This feature not only makes it much easier to pull the cork out, it puts less sideways pressure on the cork. This is important for older, weaker and more brittle corks, making them less likely to break. There is a certain level of skill to using them, but nothing you won’t be able to pick up pretty quickly if you haven’t already. There’s a good reason the simple waiters friend is used by sommeliers in most restaurants around the world. It’s a great device.
The other device I swear by is the German made Monopol two-prong cork puller, better known as the 'Ah-So'. This ingenious device is good for fragile corks, especially if they’re crumbly or broken. Here’s how to use it.
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