It hasn’t always been easy for me to define the philosophy of wine I have here at the Wine Populist. In an odd way the Wall Street Journal helped me with a column this weekend on, of all things, corkscrews. The views expressed were as close to the antithesis of how I think and feel about wine as you can get. Sometimes an opposite view can help refine your own.
Here is a link to the article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204644504576651170932414718.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
If you don’t want to bother, here is a synopsis: Corkscrews don’t have to be utilitarian objects just for opening wine anymore. You can spend a lot of money and have something that “will give you as much satisfaction as a 2000 Chateau Latour.” They then go on to review five corkscrews ranging in price from $25 to $150.
Well I have never enjoyed a corkscrew as much as a good glass of wine. And for me wine is about enjoyment. I enjoy the tastes, the smells, the physical sensations of drinking a good wine. I enjoy drinking wines that have memories attached. I also enjoy the adventure of trying a new wine. I care about what wine and the necessary accoutrements (corkscrews and glasses) cost because I have a budget. If I am going to do any showing off with wine, I am going to do it with a good bottle of wine. I am not going to do it by spending $150 on a corkscrew when I can get a good one for under $10.
To make this more than just a rant, here is what I do like in corkscrews. I usually reach for the kind called a “waiter’s friend”. They look a bit like a pocket knife. The best ones have a little folding knife blade to cut the foil on the bottle and have a Teflon coated screw to make it easier to screw in. A good one can be had for under $10. Not only that, if you hang out at enough wine stores someone is likely to give you a promotional one for free. I also like the original Screwpull design. It has a continuous screw that lifts the cork out straight. They are a bit slower to use than the waiter’s friend but are good for delicate corks and tight corks. They are also good if you find the waiters friend to need a bit more muscle than you want to use. They cost about $15.
So save your money for wine and enjoy.