Electric Wine Openers

Published May 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

Overview:

It sounds like something that Q would give James Bond: Press a button, and presto, the wine uncorks. But are electric wine openers really handy or just another gimmicky gadget? We placed three cordless, rechargeable models atop bottles with natural as well as synthetic corks. A push of the button on each model sent the corkscrew spiraling down into the cork, then pulled it out—a process that took 12 seconds or less, depending on the brand. The opener with the fastest-moving corkscrew wasn’t sturdy enough to drill straight into the cork. It entered at an angle, rattling and jerking and making it difficult to maintain a firm grip on the bottle. Our favorite has a broader base that lets the device rest firmly on the bottle, and its sturdy, quieter corkscrew minimized wobbling. This opener works just as well, and with far less effort, as our favorite manual tool—making it a great for opening multiple bottles for a party.

It sounds like something that Q would give James Bond: Press a button, and presto, the wine uncorks. But are electric wine openers really handy or just another gimmicky gadget? We placed three cordless, rechargeable models atop bottles with natural as well as synthetic corks. A push of the button on each model sent the corkscrew spiraling down into the cork, then pulled it out—a process that took 12 seconds or less, depending on the brand. The opener with the fastest-moving corkscrew wasn’t sturdy enough to drill straight into the cork. It entered at an angle, rattling and jerking and making it difficult to maintain a firm grip on the bottle. Our favorite has a broader base that lets the device rest firmly on the bottle, and its sturdy, quieter corkscrew minimized wobbling. This opener works just as well, and with far less effort, as our favorite manual tool—making it a great for opening multiple bottles for a party.

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