How to Open a Wine Bottle

Opening a wine bottle

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Tools of the Trade

Corkscrew The waiters corkscrew is the most commonly used corkscrew in restaurants. A good one will have a blade for cutting the foil and a lever for easier opening. To use this corkscrew simply cut the foil with the blade under the second lip of the bottle. Next, center the point of the corkscrew in the middle of the cork and give it a firm turn to anchor the worm. Turn the corkscrew gently and firmly without pressing down, until the worm has been inserted entirely (depending on cork length, this will vary). Place the lever on the lip of the bottle and pull up slowly and firmly.

Ahso Insert the longer prong of the ah-so between the cork and the bottle and, while applying slight downward pressure, rock the prong back and forth until the shorter prong can also be inserted between the cork and the bottle. Once both prongs are inserted, rock the handle from prong to prong, applying downward pressure. When the ah-so is fully inserted, simultaneously pull the handle upward and twist it to release the cork.

Decanter There are two main reasons to decant a wine: to remove the sediment from an older bottle of red wine and to aerate a young bottle of red wine. To decant a wine off its sediment, it can be helpful to hold a flashlight or candle under the neck of the bottle while pouring the wine into the decanter. This makes it possible to see the sediment as you are pouring and stop accordingly.

Wine Bucket The wine bucket should be used to lower the temperature of a wine or to maintain the proper temperature. Fill the bucket with two parts ice and one part water. The water will make it easier to place the bottle in the bucket for quick chilling.


  • Shape - The best shape for a wine glass is one that has a stem and a bowl that is turned in slightly at the rim to capture and hold the aroma of the wine.
  • Placement - The most common placement for wine glasses is to the right of the cover above the tip of the dinner knife. If more than one glass is to be set the glasses should be positioned at an angle up from the tip of the dinner knife in order of service from right to left.