Double-lever Waiter’s Corkscrew

Bar knifeThere’s a headline I bet you never expected to read.  I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to “bar knives,” as I learned to call them in the Montréal bar scene.  A Google search tells me that they’re more popularly known as “waiter’s corkscrews.”  Whatever, they’re what a real  waiter will use to open your wine at your table, as opposed to one of those butterfly rigs – or even worse, a large pumphandle contraption mounted on the bar.  My wife and friends will tell you that I am enough of a nerd on the subject that I will actually give people who are using the “wrong” implement to open wine in their homes a “real” bar knife so they can join the enlightened.

For years, every bar knife I met had basically the same design, and basically the same drawback: if you put the corkscrew too far into the cork, you couldn’t get the fulcrum notch onto the bottle’s rim; and if you didn’t put it far enough in, you could break the cork.

Then, about 3 years ago, I bought something at the liquor store that had a free bar knife attached.  It closely resembles the ones in the picture, and features that little knobby thing sticking out of the metal lever.  When you push that knob, a second fulcrum notch comes out of the lever, about half way down its length.  That makes the cork extraction a two stage affair, which eliminates the challenges of the old design.  Here’s a video of a very serious, grey-haired, left-handed man showing how it works.

Is this innovation as important as electricity or radio?  Perhaps not, but it makes me happy.


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