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Unless Corks go the Way of Rotary Dial Phones, You Will Still Need a
 Corkscrew to Open Wine Bottles - Question Is: Which One to Buy?

By Bill Daley, Chicago TribuneMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Dec. 17, 2008 --Unless corks go the way of rotary dial phones, eight-track tapes and the Edsel, expect to need a corkscrew to open your bottles of wine.

Question is: Which one to buy?

There are many types of corkscrews out there, from the basic worm (that's the screw of the corkscrew) you twist in and out by hand and those lever pulls that remove a cork in seconds to automated press-of-a-button wine bottle openers.

We picked four of the most popular corkscrews and put them to the test.

Here are the results, in order of preference.

wdaley@tribune.com

Crate and Barrel Pocket Corkscrew in Black Case. $13

Pro: For me, the easiest to use of them all. Also known as the waiter's corkscrew. Just 5 inches long, slim and lightweight. Stylish blend of stainless steel and plastic; smart carrying case. Having two levers makes it easier to pull long corks from the bottle. Gets the job done quickly without fuss.

Con: Fast, yes, but may take a little time to learn how to use properly. You have to guide the worm into the cork and find the leverage, using the rim of the bottle, to remove the cork.

Metrokane Vertical Rabbit Lever Style Corkscrew. $60

(Crate and Barrel and Amazon.com; black models at bedbathandbeyond.com)

Pro: Sleek and colored a zippy "Candy Apple Red," perfect for the holidays, this Vertical Rabbit corkscrew is an armless version of the classic Rabbit model. Works smoothly, removes the cork fast. Sold with foil cutter, replacement worm and Lucite storage case.

Con: The plastic body feels a bit fragile. With only one lever, this model is easier to use than a traditional Rabbit but it still feels awkward. Foil cutter needs to be gripped really firmly in order to be effective.

Waring Pro W050 Wine Opener. $40

(Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon.com)

Pro: Electric cordless corkscrew smoothly removes cork from the bottle. Non-cork corks pose a challenge; you need to keep one hand firmly on the bottle to let the worm really bite. Electric charger base holds the foil cutter that comes with the wine opener. Easy to use but a bit discombobulating at first; you really don't do anything but place it on the bottle. Waring boasts you can remove up to 80 corks on one charge.

Con: Noisy. Sounds like a dentist's drill. This cordless wine opener is about the size of a restaurant pepper mill. Imposing in its high-tech charger stand -- some folks may not want this sort of thing out on their counter or bar.

Atlas Wing-Style Corkscrew. $6

(Crate and Barrel)

Pros: Rugged looking in a high-tech way. You place it on the bottle, turn the handle to work the worm into the cork, then pull down on the wings to lift the cork up and out.

Cons: The worm extends out beyond the end of the corkscrew, making the initial attack on the cork a bit wobbly until you work the worm in. Turns roughly, feels like the worm is fighting you. In one test, the corkscrew failed to remove the cork, spinning it around in the bottle instead.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Chicago Tribune

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