Comments: If you have ever struggled with a corkscrew – well, who hasn't? Waring's new powered wine opener is meant to solve that problem for good. On a full charge, the company says, the opener will remove up to 80 corks (natural or synthetic). There is a foil cutter included, which stows neatly in the front of the unit.
One visitor to our test kitchen exclaimed at both the size of the unit and the label touting its capacity to remove 80 corks on single charge. Who would need to remove 80 corks?, she wondered. Apparently Waring doesn't call it a professional opener for nothing.
Some customers have reported problems with battery life, especially after an extended period of disuse. Waring says you will need to recharge the unit if it is left off its base for more than 30 days. The company recommends that you store the unit on its base so that you always have a fresh charge. Nickle-metal hydride batteries, which are used in this unit, are typically rechargeable up to 1,500 times (which is to say, the opener may be good for 120,000 corks, or 6,000 a year for the next 20 years, or slightly more than one cork a day for the next 328 years – your choice).
In our experience, the wine opener worked very well. Place it squarely over the bottle, hold the bottle in one hand to keep it from turning, and push the toggle button down (as in the corkscrew moves down into the cork and pulls the cork up completely out of the bottle). After the cork has been removed from the bottle, push the up side of the button to move the corkscrew up and the cork down, where you can remove it from the end of the corkscrew, or worm.
The corkscrew is likely to go all the way through the cork, so if you are going to want to recork your bottle, you'll want a replacement stopper.
If the cork breaks, you are going to have a dickens of a time getting it out of the opener. The entire cork disappears into the unit, and if only a fragment goes in, it will not protrude far enough out for you to grasp with your fingers. Some combination of needle-nose pliers and relentless teenager will quite possibly be required to get it out.
The list price is on the high side, but we have seen it many places for less than half that. The wine opener and its base unit do take up a certain amount of space – more than a standing wine bottle. But sometimes there is a price to be paid for convenience….