It’s happened to me, and I’m betting most have had a similar experience. Over at a friends house, as I prepared to open a bottle of wine, I asked for an opener (a waiter’s friend), inserted the corkscrew in, started to twist, and was surprised when the worm detached and the opener broke. Great, now what? Do you shove the cork down in the bottle with a screwdriver? Opting for a less bottle intrusive method, I twisted the worm by hand, painfully managing to get it down halfway, and started to pull. Now it’s no easy task to get a cork out of a bottle without the proper equipment, but by holding the bottle between my feet, and using a towel to grasp what was left of my corkscrew, I was successful.
Chalk another win up for screw caps. Situations like this are completely avoidable. Whether it’s the cork breaking off halfway in the bottle, not having an opener handy, or my disconcerting experience, screw caps eliminate these painful experiences. Thanks to new innovative closures, companies are finding a way to compromise the ease of use that comes with screw caps, and the nostalgia of opening a bottle with a cork.
If you are in need of a new corkscrew, this list from the Hollister Free Lance relates the pros and cons of the most common ones. I personally prefer a waiter’s friend to all others. It’s simple, easy to transport, efficient, and just looks good.