While preparing for the service exam, I became painfully aware of the jagged edges created by the pathetic blade on my old faithful cheap double hinge pulltab corkscrew. I read the code 38 thread and noticed someone mentioned Coutale Sommelier. I purchased one with high hopes. The blade is fantastic and I like the slightly heavier feel. Unfortunately the worm is too thin and short. And if you encounter a long cork, you can't even screw it down all the way because the double hinged arm will not work! It works fine for a normal bottle, but any brittle old cork does not stand a chance. Does anyone know of a relatively (or very) cheap double hinge, sharp blade, Teflon coated larger/longer wormed corkscrew? I stay with cheap corkscrews because allocate my wine dollars to bottles and not openers.
Alternatively, is it possible for a watch repairman to remove the blade from the Coutale or the worm from a pulltab and switch them? that would be the perfect solution IMO.
When not in an exam, i could care less about my corkscrew and I take pride in using the worst one I can find, but in an exam I don't want to deal with a corkscrew that is less than perfect.
You might check out the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Classic Waiter's Corkscrew if you want a double hinge. Its $35.
Amazon has good keys from Barvivo and HiCoup.
While not exactly cheap, and lacking a double hinge, a friend recommended Cartailler Deluc. Manufactured by the factory that does Laguiole and uses a Laguiole worm, which is really big. Knife has mini serrations, and I now understand that single hinge is fine if it is designed well. The body of the corkscrew is slim, but it has a heavy feel to it. Since shipping is ridiculous but constant, it is worth picking up a few.
Although I could not find any available in this country, there is also a version that uses screws to fasten the blade and the worm, so they can be replaced... I have been told Laguiole worms break. If anyone knows where to buy one of these (and the replacement parts) stateside, please let me know!
I have enjoyed using the Le Creuset "waiters friend" for a few years now. It is durable, has a very sharp blade and nice weight to it. Also looks great at the table, as it has a wood handle. It's about 35 bucks on wine enthusiast.
for $10 this is the best wine key I have ever owned.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand the mentality of using garbage corkscrews...
To be fair, I know you are not alone and there are many great sommeliers who share your philosophy. Personally, I feel that my corkscrew is the fundamental tool I use constantly to do my job and I take pride in carrying a quality tool. What I hear you saying is that you care how your foil cuts look in an exam, but the ones you do every day for your guests aren't important. I'm probably being overly harsh, but it makes me wonder if you see the service exam as being about getting a pin, or about being a better sommelier every day?
I've always walked into service exams with exactly the same corkscrew I use on the floor. After all, do you really want to struggle in the exam with a corkscrew you're not used to using?
For the record, I've carried a Laguiole for many years, my personal preference. I have several, and when the worm breaks, I send it back to France for repairs (they have a lifetime warranty). For me, they tend to last about a year and then the repair is $10 for shipping and handling and the corkscrew comes back good as new. Quality tools, quality service. And after the initial investment to buy it, I carry a beautiful, high-quality tool for the same price as a pulltap.
I agree that the HICoup Wine keys are the best I have owned for the price.
I carry a Coutale as well and I agree. However my solution is simple. I also carry a monopole. I wear a suit on the floor so I have a plethora of pockets (by the way gentlemen, getting a ticket pocket built into your suit coat is the best thing ever if you carry a wine tool. Just have your tailor reinforce the stitching) which means carrying multiple tools is not a problem. However, two of my servers also carry both tools as they wear aprons.
HiCoup are the best for the price IMO.
I was about to recommend Coutale and then kept reading--I've never had issues with the corkscrew but if I were trying to handle an old brittle cork would switch to an Ah-So type device...maybe that would be a solution? Truly my biggest struggle is usually gracefully removing the foil and Coutale has been the only corkscrew blade I've loved for that.
You speak from the perspective of someone who currently works in a restaurant. I do not work on the floor. I do not have guests. It would be silly for me to carry around a nice corkscrew. Eventually it would be left at a friend's house or confiscated by TSA when I forget to remove it from my backpack.
However, even if I did work the floor, I would still prefer a cheap corkscrew that did the job well. If I could find a $5 pulltab with a good blade, that would be good enough for me. You want a Laguiole and I want a bottle of Gonon.
And don't worry about how I see this service portion of this exam. That doesn't concern you.
For me, nothing is better than the pulltaps design. The unfortunate part is that not all blades on the knives are created equal. The blade should have just enough serration to make a smooth and perfect cut. Too much will leave the edges jagged. The best solution ive found is to order the Pulltaps classic 100 wine key straight from the factory in Barcelona. The classic 100 is a heavier duty, higher quality version of the normal pull taps style key. It has a heavier body, thicker auger (with a good amount of coating), a nice moderate serration on the blade, and a sturdier double hinged lever. They are around 30 bucks a piece.They work brilliantly however, the only issue with these is that the hinge loosens in just around the same amount of time as a normal pulltaps key. I cant work with a super loose knuckle busting hinge. So it can become quite expensive to keep replacing them. They also take a bit of time to ship from Spain, right around 2 weeks.
Hi Keith, As a chinese, I have to say that we make a lot of corkcrews, the cheapest one only takes 0.1 ＄.