While the Houdini looks like no other corkscrew you’ve ever seen, and can be intimidating with its complex design, a few simple tips and a basic walk-through will have you sipping wine with ease.

Before Using the Houdini

The Houdini (or “Rabbit”) corkscrew has an interesting design. If looking at it from the bottom, there are two similar side handles (or rabbit ear handles), flanking the central focus–the corkscrew/spiral/worm. Stretching back from these two devices is the top handle, which will be used to raise and lower the corkscrew.

Also included in many packages of the Houdini is a foil cutter. This is important, as you should always remove the foil from the top of the bottle before using the Houdini. There is a nonstick coating on the spiral, which can be stripped away or damaged if drilled through foil. On a similar note, if there is a wax coating on the cork, remove it as well. Wax on the spiral will damage the coating and render it ineffective. If you forget this step, or use it incorrectly and get wax on the spiral, you can clean it by unscrewing the round nut under the top handle, taking the spiral out and finishing by boiling the spiral in a pot of hot water until the wax falls off.

Using the Houdini

Once any covering is off of the cork and the spiral is clean, you are ready to pull the cork out. To do so, grab the Houdini by its rabbit ears with your left hand. With your right, raise the spiral into the up position by holding the top lever and lowering it. If done correctly, the pointed tip of the spiral should be close to flush with the rabbit ears. Place the corkscrew over the bottle, positioning the tip of the spiral in the middle of the cork. With a strong grip, close both ears of the Houdini around the neck of the bottle, and make sure to retain that strong, snug fit with your left hand on both the ears. Raise the top handle with your right hand; this will insert the spiral into the cork. And finally, lower the top handle to pull the cork out of the bottleneck. After removing the Houdini from the wine bottle, it is just as easy to remove the cork from the Houdini. With the cork still on the spiral, raise the top handle (essentially lowering the cork), and grip the cork strongly with the rabbit ear handles. And then simply lower the top handle, pulling the spiral from the cork. You are now cork-free, and able to enjoy your beverage of choice.

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