Removing corks with the Code38
Even the most experienced wine professional can have some interesting techniques when it comes to using a single-stage lever wine key. But when mastered, it is the simplest and sexiest way to remove a cork. Here are the some tips on the most effective way to remove a cork to ensure the helix isn't bent.
Start the helix insertion by pushing the point of the helix into the centre of the cork.
Screw the full length of the helix into the cork. This is especially important when extracting older soft corks, as the bottom section of the cork can be left behind.
Apply a smooth even lifting pressure under the handle of the wine key and extract to around the halfway point. Use your other hand to keep the lifter secure on the rim of the bottle.
At the halfway point, the cork will begin to bend over. To counteract this, use the forefinger to apply downward pressure at the end of the wine key as shown. We call this a push/pull technique.
For difficult corks, where a more controlled force is required, use the full hand grip. Note: you will still need to use the balanced push/pull technique here. With this technique use the small finger to apply the balancing force that is required to keep the cork and helix straight as it comes up out of the bottle.
Complete the final stage of the extraction by continuing to maintain the straight helix and cork.