Every household has at least one corkscrew at home. We all know this instrument, but not its history, not its beginnings.
Around the 18th century, when corkscrews were introduced as an instrument for closing bottles, corkscrews appeared.
At that time, bottles and vessels were closed with cloth and wooden plugs, a rather complex and rudimentary method. It was then, according to legend, that the monk Dom Pierre Perignon, the creator of the famous Champagne, discovered this new, safer and more convenient method of closure on one of his pilgrimage trips to Santiago de Compostela. This also made it necessary to find a new, faster and more convenient opening system.
Although this theory is widespread, the first references to a corkscrew come from England, not France.
Over the years, the corkscrew was perfected. But it was not until the 18th century that the first patent was issued by Samuel Henshall. He gave it its characteristic “T” shape by adding a wooden handle.
Since then, it has continued to be marketed in multiple models. Some of them are:
– THE 2-SPEED: (Photo Ferratus) patented by Kark Wienke. As its name indicates, two support steps are needed to open the bottle in a simple way. It is the most frequently used by professionals due to its ease of use and precision.
– WINGED: Its design allows us to open a bottle without the need for great skill or strength and is the most common in homes. The first one was created by Dominick Rosati, while the second one is the Spanish version, created and improved by the Basque engineer David Olañeta.
– THREADED: Its use is very simple, since we will only have to turn the upper piece in the same direction until the cork comes out of the bottle.
– ELECTRIC: It requires neither skill nor strength as it is electric. It is only necessary to place it on the neck of the bottle and operate it until the cork is out of the bottle.
– LEVER: It must be placed around the neck of the bottle and operate the lever downwards to introduce the spiral and upwards to remove the cork.
– COMPRESSED AIR: Its mechanism consists of injecting a needle through the cork and pumping to introduce air until the cork comes out of the bottle. It is not highly recommended as it can remove sediments and/or alter the wine when air is introduced.
– It uses hard blades that are inserted between the neck and cork of the bottle, without piercing it, it is turned to separate all the cork from the bottle and then it is extracted. Ideal for old wines over 20 years old, as corks can break or stick to the glass. It requires some skill and strength to extract it without breaking.
Today, the famous corkscrew continues to change, with new models and ideas that adapt to the product, in order to facilitate the extraction and ensure its quality.