Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Kitchen Collection [8]

Those of you who know us know that Ken and I have a small collection of corkscrews and cork pullers. These aren't heirlooms or anything of real value; in fact, it's not a collection, per se. It's more like an accumulation.

Every home needs at least one way to get corks out of bottles. Even if you're not a wine drinker, the day will come when you will need to get a cork out of a bottle for some reason or another. A guest, a party, a special bottle of balsamic vinegar, something. So you buy a corkscrew at the supermarket.

Then you learn that you got the wrong kind. A proper corkscrew has a worm (the curly part) that you can stick a pencil into (like the one in the photo above). A solid worm does not grab the cork well enough and can make a mess. So you go out and get a proper corkscrew.

One day, you go on a picnic and forget to take your corkscrew, so you try to use the tiny corkscrew attacment on your Swiss Army knife, but all it does is push the cork into the bottle (yes, I've done that). Afterwards, you go out and buy a corkscrew to keep in your car.

The next year you are traveling in Europe and want a bottle of wine in your hotel room. You have to sheepishly ask the front desk clerk to borrow a corkscrew because all the stores are closed, or, if you don't have the nerve, you use your Swiss Army knife to push the cork into the bottle (I've done it more than once). When you get home you go out and buy a corkscrew to keep in your travel kit, right next to the shampoo.

Then someone gives you a nice quirky corkscrew for your birthday. Isn't it cute ? The first time you try to use it, you end up pushing the cork right into the bottle. That tool goes into "the drawer" - that drawer we all have; you know the one.

The next week you're out wine tasting and you see a cork puller in the winery shop that strikes your fancy and you say, "Hey, I want that !" And you buy it. It says "Joe's Winery" in big bold letters on the side. It also ends up in "the drawer."

You have your favorites. You use them in rotation, until you find another that you like better. The others come out now and then, and you don't know how you ever lived without that one in your suitcase.

My current favorite is a "waiter's friend" that I bought at a Hudson Valley winery last fall during our US trip. It's got a soft rubber grip, a terrific worm, and is strong and sturdy. How many times in your life can you write a sentence like that ?

In our house, we open at least one bottle of wine each day, so our cork pullers get a workout. Some have been retired after years of faithful service, others are broken but we don't have the heart to toss them out; too many memories. So they accumulate. We love them all.

Don't get me started on foil cutters...


  1. Thanks, Walt, you gave me an idea for use in my brand new soft light box!
    Corkscrews it will be! ;)
    It'll have to wait till tomorrow, but I like the idea.

  2. Cool ! I can't wait to see.

  3. Thanks for a wonderful laugh! And, no, I've never seen a sentence quite like that one.

  4. Utterly charming post!

  5. Yep, been there, done that. I have several that I bought in France, not to mention the ones I've bought here in the US. My favorite, and the one I use almost exclusively, is one that has a foil cutter on the end opposite the corkscrew.


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