Which Wine Opener to buy is always a big issue. Like most wine lovers, I have quite a few, not counting the half dozen or so now in the possession of the TSA.
A while back, I was given the Cork Pops Legacy Wine Opener, a gas-operated little gem that includes a foil cutter in its excellent design. Priced around $25 to $30, this gadget makes opening wine a joy, even with tricky corks. This isn’t a corkscrew, as it has no screw – just a straight hollow needle that pierces the cork and puts gas between the cork and the wine to force the cork easily out of the bottle neck.
It works like this. You can use the foil cutter (four sharp disks on the bottom of the legs) to remove the foil cap, then push the needle through the center of the cork. Once the device is fully seated on the bottle, you simply press the top with your thumb. This activates the gas canister and pushes gas into the bottle, easily removing most corks. The taste and aroma of the wine are unaffected. To remove the cork, you twist the opener where the legs join the body, and the cork slides back down the needle.
This has become my go-to wine opener at home, and I have given several as gifts.
Now, let’s look at some drawbacks.
1. This device does not travel well. It comes in a clear plastic case, so taking it to a friend’s home or on a picnic will work. But you can’t take the opener with gas on an airplane, so you will still need a good travel opener if you are flying.
2. The Legacy does not work on large format bottles or with very long corks where the needle cannot get all the way through (a very small percentage of corks, fortunately). Nor will with work with bottles that have a wax cap over the cork – you might bend the needle trying to push it through the wax, and the wax makes the bottle neck too wide to fit the device over it.
3. Some have reported problems using it with plastic corks, although I have never had a problem with this.
4. You have to develop a bit of a “touch” with this opener. Too much force on the top of the canister (which is the “button” you push) and too much gas goes into the bottle causing the cork to fly out of the bottle often followed by some wine. It may take a bottle or two to practice with – start with the “value” wines.
Beyond that, I have nothing but good things to say about this wine opener. If you have any experiences with this one or with an opener that you like better, please comment.