Introduction: How to Open a Wine Bottle With a "waiter's Key"

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Despite my fondness for gadgets and machines I've just never gotten around to buying one of the more complicated corkscrews. I generally make do with your standard issue "waiter's key" corkscrew that you can get for a couple of dollars at most stores. My innner gadget-snob might weep except that this also happens to be what most wine lovers consider to be a real corkscrew and being able to handle one efficiently will go quite a ways towards making you look  like more of a wine aficionado.

It never ceases to surprises me how many folks don't quite appreciate what a neat and clever tool this is. Maybe it's the simple design or how it looks against the veritable torture chamber of cork removal tools out there but I figured I'd take a shot at explaining how to go about using it for your standard issue cork removal needs.

Step 1: Remove Foil From Cork

I'll admit that I don't always use this part, but it's useful to have. This little blade is great for cutting off the foil that covers the cork and with enough practice you can cut the whole thing off with one circular motion that looks pretty slick.

Step 2: Insert Corkscrew

This part is pretty straightforward. You screw the worm into the cork, usually most of the way in and near the center but not exactly centered.

Step 3: The Really Cool Part.

There are countless fancy (and expensive) corkscrews that do all kind of neat things in order to pull the cork, but I love how simple the process can be. All you need is this notched foot that can perch on the edge of the bottle.

Once you have the corkscrew setup like the first photo shows, all you do is pull up on the opposite end and the cork comes out fairly easily.

Step 4: Voila

You now have an uncorked bottle of wine ready to be enjoyed and a cork that can be reused as needed.