Help with Corkscrews
- BrookBoy Apr 1, 2007 05:36 PM
OK, my wife and I bought one of those "rabbit" corkscrew sets at Brookstone several years ago. This was after using a different one for some time, but that one eventually broke down, so we got the new one.
For the first year or so, no problems. However, it became harder and harder to use over time. Had to expend lots of arm strength, and neither of us is a kid, plus my wife has osteoporosis, so brute strength isn't much of an option for either of us. We eventually gave up on the rabbit type and went back to the classic waiter corkscrew, have been using that successfully for several years.
Then we spent this weekend at a friend's house. Said friend has several of the rabbit type of corkscrews. I had occasion to use one of them several times and I was really surprised with how easy it was.
So here I am seeking advice from the pros on Chowhound. Is there a rabbit type of corkscrew that is actually easy to use (i.e., screw slides in and out of cork easily)? We would love to hear your recommendations...
ScrewPull is about the best of that type, that I have seen. I assume, of course, that you are talking about the "Rabbit," brand.
One type that you might want to investigate is the pump syringe, or gas syringe style of de-corker. I have a few of each, and they work well, though I always grab the "waiter's friend," first. Check that they syringe "needle," is long enough for Italian wine corks (and similar).
The MetroKane Rabbit is the best I've seen and used, although you'll need to replace the screw after about 2 years of use (perhaps heavy use hehe :). There have been a lot of other companies producing similar styled corkscrew and I would imagine that your Brookstone is modeled after this.
Take a look at the "Screwpull Table Model Corkscrew". There is no lever; the cork comes out as you continue to turn the screw into the cork. My BW's favorite.
The problem is probably not so much the device as it is the auger (corkscrew part). These need to be replaced as they tend to bind up in the cork after a lot of use. I HAVE seen the auger come loose at it's base, but then it really doesn't work at all. I'd agree that Screwpull or Leverpull or Swiftpull brands are better than the Rabbit brand for overall quality, but they can also be 3 to 10 times the price. Since yours worked well at the beginning, I'd look into a replacement auger first. Rabbit also makes a better unit called the Houdini that might be a choice if you want a new one.
Honestly, the $10-$20 rabbit-like generic corkscrew that Bed Bath and Beyond sells is great. I'd pay more if I thought it mattered, but I've never been dissapointed in that corkscrew.
FWIW: I've never liked the syringe type corkscrew. Many bad experiences. My tried-and-true corkscrew is a waiter's knife I got at OddBins in Glasgow 6 years ago. It has a built in foil cutter and a perfectly placed ledge for pulling. 3BP. First wine I opened with it was a 1997 D'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" -- 14BP. My, how times have changed.
Most "waiter's friend" corkscrews are badly designed--the distance between the fulcrum and the screw is such that you can't get a straight upward pull but instead are trying to yank the cork through the neck of the bottle. Pulltaps w.f. models are much better than the standard design--their 2-step pull eliminates awkwardness.
Hounds proposing replacing the auger are correct: after a time, the slippery coating that eases operation wears off. Cork is very abrasive, after all: cork is used to polish smooth the edges of glass slabs used for doors and tables.h