Corkscrews come in various forms: winged, air pump, two-pronged, lever, twisting and waiter’s. The easiest to use is the waiter’s corkscrew. It is one thin piece about four inches long and has a worm, a lever and a foil cutter. Opening a bottle of wine using a waiter’s corkscrew takes a little practice. Once you master it, every wine bottle you open will be done with grace and ease.

Position the bottle properly on a smooth, non-slip surface.

Cut the foil. Waiter’s corkscrews have two types of foil cutters. One type has two small metal wheels and the other has a small knife, either serrated or not, that is run along the top lip of the wine bottle to cut the foil.

Insert the worm (the metal spiral) into the cork in the center or slightly off center. Keep twisting the corkscrew until the worm is completely inserted into the cork.

Place the lever on the lip of the wine bottle.

Pull the corkscrew straight up. The body of the corkscrew will be at an angle once the worm is inserted into the cork. Using the palm of your hand pull the corkscrew straight up toward the ceiling.

Stop pulling. Once you notice the corkscrew beginning to bend stop lifting. Some of the cork will still be in the bottle.

Remove the remaining cork manually. Wrap your hand around the cork and wiggle it out.


  • Don’t worry about synthetic corks. These types of corks rarely break, so you can pull them out completely with a waiter’s corkscrew even if they begin to bend.

  • If the cork breaks, remove the broken cork from the worm and gently insert it back into the broken cork.