There are numerous stupid human tricks involving different ways to open a bottle of wine. I have seen people do it with a phone book, a high heel, hell, I even did it with a fork once (no at all advisable by the way!) On a recent trip to Napa and Sonoma, I decided to try my hand in opening a bottle the way it used to be done.
We have all see the pictures of the old school cork screws. I even have one as a tattoo. They all consist of the same thing; the screw and a handle at the top with which to pull. The one thing they lack that most modern cork screws have is a fulcrum, or point at which the person opening the bottle has leverage on the cork and can open it easily.
I got my hands on a fairly simple one from the late 1800’s and decided, since I collect them but had never used one, that it was time for me to experience this. Now, mind you, this is how sommeliers used to have to open bottles and there is no graceful way to do this. You have to put the bottle between your legs and pull hard enough to get the cork out, but not hard enough you pop it out and spray wine everywhere. Well I achieved the later, but broke the cork in the process and had to then be even gentler, which is not always my forte. As a matter of fact, I am not for my strength, not my finesse.