If you want to learn how to open a bottle of wine but not as a waiter or without a wine opener, scroll down to the bottom of this post and check the videos and the tutorial there!
If you want to learn how to open a wine bottle as a professional waiter or sommelier, continue reading!
Wine opener. How to open a bottle of wine as professional waiter / waitress
Now that we have only the waiters left reading, we need to talk about your wine opener! The wine bottle opener is your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to opening a bottle of wine!
On the net or in the shops you will find all kinds of wine openers.
From the very simple, old school, single lever that is very difficult to use,
to the very fancy, cool looking but very expensive kind:
You should not buy any of those.
The first kind is very hard to use and the second kind is very expensive and in many cases, also very uncomfortable.
I suggest you use the classic style, very cheap wine opener that is doing a great job and looks very sleek and elegant as well!
Keep in mind that some of those also differ in their usability based on the type of metal used and the precision of the screw.
A good wine opener will help you open a bottle of wine with ease and finesse, therefore, it is very important to choose the right one.
Proper technique – how to open a bottle of wine like a pro
There are many different ways you will be required to open a bottle of wine. Depending on the restaurant you work in that might be standing in front of the guests and holding the wine bottle in your hands!
It could be by placing the bottle on the table in front of the guests:
It could also be a very old, aged bottle of wine that you have to open laying down in a wine basket. In this case, you will have to decant the bottle of wine after opening:
The best thing is to be prepared for all those cases and act accordingly whenever they arise!
WINE OPENING TECHNIQUE
- hold the bottle firmly with your left hand. Cut the foil around the neck of the bottle and remove it:
2. hold the wine opener with your right hand as your index finger and your thumb are holding securely the screw and the rest of your fingers are holding the handle of the wine opener:
3. puncture the cork with the tip of the screw right in the middle and straighten up the wine opener so the screw is pointing directly to the bottom of the bottle
4. by applying light pressure to the wine opener start turning it clockwise and the screw will start dipping into the cork
5. after the first two rounds, you don’t need to apply pressure on the wine opener, just keep turning it clockwise until it is almost all inside the cork but not quite
6. the screw must not puncture the bottom of the cork because it will drop some particles in the wine. It is also very important that you have enough of the screw inside the cork so when you start pulling it you won’t break the cork. You will learn to find the right balance with experience but in general, the red wines have longer corks (especially Italian wines or expensive wines) and the white wines have shorter corks
Pulling the cork
7. next, bring the handle of the wine opener down as close to the bottle as possible and place the first step on the rim of the bottle
8. start pulling the handle of the wine opener up and that will start bringing the cork up as well
9. once you have pulled the handle to the highest position it could possibly get, bring it back down and put the second step of the opener on the wine rim
10. bring the handle of the wine opener back up pulling the cork out of the bottle
11. do not pull the whole cork out of the wine bottle while pulling the handle up. When you see that the cork is almost out of the wine bottle: stop pulling
12. catch the cork with your thumb and index finger. Lightly turn it left and right while at the same time applying pressure on the side. The cork should leave the bottle gently and without a “POP”
Pouring the wine
13. take the wine opener with the cork in your left hand. With your right hand, pour some wine in the guest’s glass (the host) to test it
14. take a napkin and remove the cork from the wine opener. Present it to the guest (the host) to inspect it
15. Serve the rest of the guests first and then return to the host to fill his/her glass last
16. You have done a great job! Now you know how to open a bottle of wine with a wine opener. All you need is a little practice and you will feel comfortable enough not to worry about making a mistake. To learn more about wine visit our Wine Knowledge post
HOW TO OPEN A BOTTLE OF WINE WITHOUT A WINE OPENER
I highly recommend that you don’t try opening a bottle of wine with anything else but a wine opener! Doing the opposite is dangerous and might ruin your wine bottle or injure you. Still, if you are interested in different possibilities I am posting for you few interesting videos. You will find here examples of how to open a wine bottle without a wine opener.