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What is a Cork Remover?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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Even in our age of screw caps on just about everything, good bottles of wine still tend to come with a cork. In order to open the bottle and allow the wine to breathe before serving, a cork remover is required. There are actually several types of cork removers that you can choose to use for opening wine bottles and other containers that are sealed with a cork. Here are descriptions of the three most common forms of the cork remover, including suggestions on where to purchase them.

Perhaps the most basic type of cork remover is a version that is often referred to as a “T” corkscrew. Created especially to work with traditional corks, the T corkscrew is so named because of the shape. A horizontal handle is paired with a vertical pointed spiral. The spiral comes to a sharp point at the end. Removing the cork from a wine bottle is accomplished by twisting the spiral into the wine cork until it is firmly embedded. Holding the bottle firmly in one hand, use the handle to pull upward with the other hand. This will release the cork from the bottle. Often, the T handle corkscrew has a sturdy wooden handle, while stainless steel is used for the spiral.

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The second type of cork remover is somewhat similar in function, but looks very different. The spiral with the sharp end is still present, but instead of a handle, this model of cork remover uses two levers. As the spiral is screwed into the cork, the two levers move from a parallel vertical position on either side of the spiral to a horizontal position. Once both levers are fully horizontal, use one or both hands to push them back into the original position. As the levers return to their vertical positions, the spiral removes the cork from the mouth of the bottle.

A third popular option for a cork remover focuses more on gripping the cork. With a horizontal handle that has two metal prongs that are spaced out to about the diameter of the inside of the mouth of the bottle, the idea is to grip the cork while it is still in the bottle. The two metal prongs are thin enough to fit between the inside lip of the bottle and cork. Use the handle to run the prongs all the away around the cork, loosening it from the interior wall of the neck. After a couple of revolutions, the friction will have allowed for the cork to be gripped by the prongs and slide out of the bottle with great ease.

Many people prefer to use a spiral style cork remover, simply because there seems to be less chance of leaving behind some remnants of wine corks in the wine bottles when removing the cork. However, anyone who uses the prong type of cork remover on a regular basis will soon be able to extract the corks without leaving any residue to drop back into the wine.

All three cork remover types can easily be purchased at discount retail stores, kitchen shops and often in supermarkets. The cost can range from inexpensive to costly, depending on the materials used to create the cork remover. From a simple type all the way through to elaborate mechanisms, finding a cork remover that will do the job and also fit your aesthetic desires is relatively easy to accomplish.

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