By Janet Craig and Janet Jarrell

Prince Edward County is Ontario’s newest wine region in Canada’s fast growing wine and viticulture industry. As the interest in everything to do with wine branches out, the connoisseur in us all strives to keep up.

When a friend listed the new and different kinds of corkscrews now on the market, it was a priceless lesson for all eager wine aficionados. I don’t know of anyone that has just one single corkscrew in their home, most have a favourite that they reach for when it’s time to open the bottle. If you’re away from home and desperate, log on to Utube, you’ll learn how to get the cork out with the heel of a dress shoe, if you’re in the woods, use a tree trunk. It really does work.

Corkscrews can range from the very simple to the very unique and intricate. Basically, the majority of corkscrews can be classified in two separate categories: leverage, where the corkscrew has a lever used to assist in the application of force to remove the cork, and then there are those that require torque, whereby the twisting motion itself removes the cork.

Most corkscrews also come with a foil remover, however, if yours does not have one, very easy and effective foil removers are sold separately. The first step in opening a bottle of wine must be to remove the foil. Cut just below the ridge of the capsule, remove the foil and then wipe the area with a clean, dry cloth. This process will remove any possible residues of dust that could fall into your glass of wine.

Both types of corkscrews mentioned above have a helix, sometimes called a worm or screw. The helix is meant to be driven directly down the centre of the cork, but not all the way through. It is important not to puncture the bottom of the cork, otherwise you will find cork shavings in your wine. With the helix in place, the key to success here is to remove the cork by lifting it straight up. This will prevent possible breakage or damage, and keeps the cork out of your wine. You should hear a very satisfying pop at the end of this process.

There are a few notable ‘others’ that deserve mention here. The first is the corkscrew that consists of simply a handle and two prongs or blades that slide one at a time on either side of the cork and then slowly pry it out. This corkscrew is most desired for the older vintages where the cork itself is likely dry and may crumble with the use of helix style corkscrew. Also included in the ‘other’ category is a corkscrew for the more adventurous type, the cork pop. This showy mechanism consists of a handle with a long needle which is inserted down through the centre of the cork. Pressurized carbon dioxide is injected which forces the cork up and out of the bottle.



  1. I was just updating the folding mirror poetry site, and saw your poem, so thought I'd check you out.

    Nice to see you're still doing fine, and writing, but sorry to see the room for poetry hasn't been updated recently.

    Hope the muse visits soon, and enjoy the season, Marc.


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