Taming of the Screw

Scott Tyree, sommelier at four-star restaurant Tru, sizes up the coolest tools for opening a bottle of wine


Produced by Arden Nelson | Photography by Howard Bjornson

wine openers

 

1

“In a class by itself, this is widely considered the finest corkscrew by industry professionals. The craftsmanship and materials [stainless steel and French oak] are first rate. The features are excellent: the worm length, the ergonomic shape of the body, and the long, sharp blade. A great gift for the serious wine drinker.” The only downside? Tyree says the corkscrews are not meant for heavy usage-he has broken several of them while opening hundreds of bottles a week at the restaurant. (Chateau Laguiole, $100, by special order through Chalet Wine & Cheese, 40 E. Delaware Pl., 312-787-8555)

2

“I love the parrot design. It makes me want to have a bottle of wine, it’s so much fun. Wine is a convivial thing, and drinking it shouldn’t be so serious. This corkscrew has all the right elements-it’s well constructed and has the right mix of functionality and amusement.” Tyree noted the built-in, curved blade for peeling off foil, the double-hinged lever, and the sturdy, Teflon-coated worm as selling points. Even better: the bird’s beak opens bottles of beer. (Alessandro Mendini for Alessi, $42, at MCA Store, 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-397-4000)

3

This sterling silver and stainless steel corkscrew is “for advanced wine drinkers. You slide the thin metal pieces between the cork and the bottle, and gradually work out the cork. It takes some practice. It has a nice weight and heft, with a classy shape. It’s most appropriate for mature bottles of wine with aged corks that are unstable and might crumble.” (Josephine Lutzel, $460, at Stitch, 1723 N. Damen Ave., 773-782-1570)

4

“The design is the attraction. I love the shape, and it fits in the hand nicely. If I were using this at the restaurant, I would like the fact that it fits right in my pocket. This one would require you to really pull because there’s no leverage, but that’s fine if you have a bottle of wine once a week or every two weeks. It would work really well for going to Ravinia, where you need something small and uncomplicated that still looks classy.” (Chrome wine opener, $28, at Elements, 102 E. Oak St., 312-642-6574)

5

“This one is really macho. It’s heavy, sleek, and the scale is unusual. I love the long, straight, sharp blade that isn’t serrated, so you can cut the foil in a uniform way. The lever and worm are both sturdy, and it’s very well constructed. It’s heavy-duty and might be unwieldy for someone with smaller hands.” (Waiter’s Friend by Blomus, $24, at Willow, 908 N. Damen Ave., 773-772-0140)

6

“This one is corkscrew ‘unplugged.’ It has a basic, beautiful design, but it will require the user to give it a good yank, so it is best used with younger wines with solid corks. It would work well for someone who is style conscious but is not a regular wine drinker.” (Stelton by Peter Holmblad, $39.95, at Stockholm Objects, 26 W. Chicago Ave., Hinsdale, 630-655-0966)

7

This pretty corkscrew with a boxwood handle “has a stripped-down style that is appropriate for casual use.” (Nontron, $35, at Le Magasin, 408 N. Clark St., 312-396-0030)

Share

Advertisement

Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.