Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Wine-Bottle Openers

A few weeks ago, I had a wine-bottle opener that looked a lot like this:

It was a classic design, purchased from Williams-Sonoma, and it was great. Sturdy and reliable, it opened many a bottle for us. But then it disappeared during an alfresco party for Lovely Daughter #2's college graduation, with lots of people and hubbub and shared dishes.

It happens.

So Lovely Daughter #2 went to BevMo and bought one that looked a lot like our old one, but it was cheaper. Wobblier. Definitely not the same. She thought I might not like it, so she also went to Williams-Sonoma and bought one that was waaaaay more expensive. Nothing like the W-S one we lost.

(Imported. Italian. In a presentation case, for Pete's sake, with red velour interior.)

It came with its own little brochure of instructions:

Really? I need instructions on how to open a bottle?

I missed my old opener. But these options--one cheaper, one more pricey--were all we had. I put the expensive one aside, intending to return it, and decided to go with the cheaper one.

Last night, I was opening a bottle of wine with the new, cheap opener, and the dang thing bit me! I don't know quite how it happened, but I caught a significant chunk of my thumb in the winged-nut devicey-thing, and it almost tore a divot out of me.

Hurt like the dickens.

(You know I'm not a hand model; I don't even pretend to have a manicure going on, here.)

This morning, I took a closer look at the pricey one. The "bitey" parts are enclosed in black, heavy-duty plastic. That's good; it can't take a nip out of me! And its movements are smooth, flowing, and it feels beautifully weighted in my hand.

And the silly brochure of instructions? It turns out to be just a roundup of all the bar tools this firm makes. The only info I needed was right on these two pages:

Oh! The base thingy it's sitting in turns out to be a two-way tool; it's a bottle-cap opener and a device to cut the foil off the top of a wine bottle.

Well, okay, that is handy.

But ultimately what won me over to this more expensive one is 1)the well-crafted, smooth workings of the opener and 2)the safety factor. Who wants to be using a tool that can turn around and hurt you?

My mother always used to say, "A workman is only as good as his tools."

Or, a woman is only as good as her wine-bottle opener. So, buonaserra, bella. You're my new best bar-tool friend.



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