Friday, July 8, 2016

Let's All Do the Corkscrew Two-Step

Le Creuset Waiter's Friend Corkscrew

Some time ago, one bottle of bubbly flummoxed every corkscrew in the house. It had a a muffin-top like a champagne bottle, but too small to “thumb” it out. The lady of the house liked the stuff enough to buy more, but mentioned the problem to a liquor-store clerk who claimed to have just the solution. He sold her a corkscrew he claimed would "open any wine bottle." He was pretty much right: the Le Creuset Waiter’s Friend may well be the king of all corkscrews.

Waiter's Friend Corkscrew from Le Creuset
Le Creuset's version modifies a typical folding waiter's corkscrew: you know, the kind that levers the cork out by propping a folding arm on the lip of the bottle. Their modification is a corkscrew with a "two-step" function: the levered arm has two positions based on a spring-loaded catch. You use position one to start the extraction, while position two finishes pulling the cork.

   The Waiter’s Friend folds into its handle to create a chunky package 5” long and about 1” wide. Our handle is black nylon (there are seven other colors available); the working parts are steel with a stainless steel screw. When you unfold it, the screw projects to form a T shape with a seven-inch crossbar and the two-inch screw as its vertical. A serrated, curved foil-cutter about 1” long folds from the plastic handle. Position one on the arm is about 1½” out; position two is another ¾” farther. When you fold it, the works are about the size of a bulky pocketknife.

No kidding, this screw will open just about any wine bottle. It’s great for long, skinny-necked bottles like Gew├╝rztatraminer, and it made short work of that Italian bubbly with the weird cork. I rarely need the "two-step" function since it works fine without the extra “oomph.” The curved foil cutter is a definite improvement over a straight-edged version, and a little hook on the folding arm works for a bottle opener if you want a beer.

This solid little corkscrew is also compact, which is why it’s a favorite with waiters and bartenders. It may seem expensive, at least until you price a Rabbit set, but it’s already lasted us several years and is sturdy enough to last many more.


Plus: will open any wine bottle, excellent foil cutter design
Minus: rather bulky in a pocket or apron
What They're Saying: The Le Creuset Waiter’s Friend is a classic corkscrew that will open almost about any bottle with a cork.

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