The sommelier (or in a less fancy restaurant, the waiter) makes it look so easy.
Display the label, cut the foil, wipe the bottle neck with a white cloth, screw in the corkscrew, gently pull the cork out, wipe the bottle neck again, and you’re ready to pour the perfect glass of wine.
How come it doesn’t work that way at home?
Assuming you don’t cut your hand when you’re supposed to be cutting the foil, there always seems to be a 50-50 chance that you’ll get a stubborn cork that won’t play nice. It refuses to come out, you have to wrestle with it, it cracks, pieces of cork ends up in the wine – you know the story.
If you’re simply having a glass of wine after a long day at work, it’s not that big a deal. Either you strain the wine before pouring it, you pick out the little pieces of cork from your glass before you drink, or (we’re not encouraging this approach) you drink enough wine so you won’t notice the fragments of cork at all.
None of those options are ideal, though, if you’re entertaining and want to impress your guests.
Sommeliers and waiters can effortlessly uncork bottles because they’ve had so much experience at it. You probably haven’t. So you’re not going to be able to have the same level of success, unless you spend hours practicing your wine-opening technique. (Actually, we can think of worse ways to spend a weekend day, considering all the open bottles of wine you’d end up with.)
A better approach is to buy an electric wine opener.
These appliances are essentially foolproof and surprisingly inexpensive. A high-end, commercial-grade electric wine bottle opener will only cost you around sixty bucks or so, and home models are priced much lower than that. Even if they have added features like wine aerators or fancy LED lighting, you’ll probably pay less for one than you’ll spend on a really good bottle of wine.
Electric wine openers aren’t only useful to prevent cork-filled wine. They’re a godsend to people with medical issues like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, or those with limited hand strength, who simply aren’t able to work a manual corkscrew. They’re also a blessing for the “mechanically-challenged” who have trouble opening a flip-top beer can, let alone a wine bottle.
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Most electric openers work in the same fashion; you only have to cut the foil (and the appliances make that easy), put the machine on top of the bottle, and push a button. That doesn’t mean they’re all the same, though.
Members of the Your House Garden review team made the ultimate sacrifice (an open bottle of wine doesn’t drink itself, after all!) in order to find the best ten electric wine openers on the market. And once the hangovers were gone, the team sat down to report their findings.
Best Electric Wine Openers
1. Wine Enthusiast Electric Blue Push-Button Corkscrew
The review team went back-and-forth for a while before choosing our #1 pick for this category. We all agreed that it should be an electric wine opener with a transparent bottom section that lets you monitor the action. We finally agreed on the Wine Enthusiast Corkscrew, because a majority of the team felt it performed a little more reliably than the competition.
This opener is sharp-looking, with a matte black top, transparent bottom, stainless steel operation buttons and electric blue LED lights that illuminate the clear section of the appliance. The accompanying foil cutter is also transparent, and sits in its own holder on the charger base whose logo prominently proclaims “Wine Enthusiast.” That may impress some of the wine snobs on your guest list.
The one-touch operation is simple, with a “down” button which activates the uncorking function, and an “up” button which allows you to take the cork out of the machine. You don’t have to grip the machine or the bottle particularly hard, either, making this a good choice for those who don’t have much strength or suffer with arthritis.
The only real negative that Your House Garden found is that the Wine Enthusiast opener has difficulty with particularly dense synthetic corks; it will remove them from the bottle, but you may have a problem getting them out of the opener afterward. Most electric wine bottle openers have that same issue to some extent, though, and the manufacturer does state that the opener isn’t recommended for synthetic corks, so we didn’t mark this product down too much because of that “flaw”.
The Wine Enthusiast has just about everything we looked for in an electric wine opener: transparent bottom section and foil cutter, easy operation, an attractive look and a decent price.
Facts and figures for the Wine Enthusiast Electric Blue Push-Button Corkscrew:
2. Secura SWO-3N Electrical Wine Bottle Opener
This Secura model had its partisans on the Your House Garden team as well, since it looks and performs quite similarly to the Wine Enthusiast at about half the price. Our final decision between the two came down to performance; the SWO-3N did a very nice job, but corks occasionally cracked slightly as they were being removed. You also have to grip the bottle more tightly to prevent the wine opener from missing the mark as the worm is inserted.
Those are relatively minor objections, however. Just as with our #1 selection, the transparent bottom shell lets you monitor the uncorking process so you can be sure everything’s going as planned, the blue LED lights give off a cool and elegant glow as the machine does its work, and the base has a separate holder for a transparent foil cutter. Actually, this cutter is actually a little better than the one that comes with the Wine Enthusiast, and the opener outperforms our top choice when working with synthetic corks. That’s why our choice for #1 was particularly difficult.
The Secura model will open 30 bottles before needing a recharge (compared to 40 bottles with the Wine Enthusiast opener), but the team thinks that’s a small sacrifice for the lower price. Your final decision should come down to the slightly iffier performance of the SWO-3N versus the higher price of the Wine Enthusiast entry. From our viewpoint, most people will be happy with either one.
There may be occasional performance glitches and a need to hold the bottle and opener more tightly – but the Secura wine bottle opener works quite well for an extremely good price.
More details for the Secura SWO-3N Electrical Wine Bottle Opener:
3. Ozeri OW02A-B2 Nouveaux II Electric Wine Opener
This is a recent upgrade to Ozeri’s very-popular Nouveaux model. The two electric wine openers are virtually identical, but the Nouveaux II holds its charge longer and is able to open as many as 60 bottles before needing a recharge. We like the newer one better, but they’re both a very good value and the best choice for those who have arthritis or less-than-optimal hand strength.
The Ozeri opener has a transparent bottom as well as soft blue LED light while in operation; the light isn’t as bright or impressive as you see with our top two models, but it combines with the transparent lower structure to ensure that you’re able to monitor the cork’s removal. No charging base is needed for the Nouveaux II (or Nouveaux), since it’s built as a standalone unit which can be plugged in on its own.
The foil cutter isn’t transparent, but you won’t lose it either. It’s built right into the removable lid of the unit and works well, even though you can’t see through it. The one-touch opener is easily gripped, doesn’t require much effort to manipulate, and has no difficulty with synthetic corks. A wine pourer/stopper is included with the Ozeri wine opener, and it’s available with a black, red or silver top section. It’s priced about five dollars lower than the Secura.
The Nouveaux II isn’t as sturdy as the top two electric wine openers in the Your House Garden rankings but it’s terrific for those without strong hands, and a very good value.
Looking deeper at the Ozeri OW02A-B2 Nouveaux II Electric Wine Opener:
4. Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener
This is a very cool-looking wine bottle opener, sleek and chic. Benefits usually come with a price, though, and in the case of the Oster Cordless the price is its one-piece silver design. Since the bottom isn’t transparent, you can’t see the screw’s placement on the cork or watch it doing its work.
The Oster does a very good job with both standard and synthetic corks, but that performance comes with a price as well; it requires more hand pressure on the top of the opener and to hold the bottle firm. Thankfully, the unit’s grip is comfortable so that’s not a big deal – unless arthritis, carpal tunnel or other issues make it difficult for you to grip objects tightly. In that case you’ll have to secure the bottle between your knees or find someone else to help. That’s why the review team doesn’t recommend this electric wine opener for every user.
There’s a non-transparent foil cutter, an attractive and contrasting-color black recharging base, and the opener works just fine on synthetic corks. It’s priced reasonably.
The Oster opener looks great and is a good value for people with good grips. Those who suffer from arthritis should probably look elsewhere, though.
Looking deeper at the Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener:
5. Vremi Nine-Piece Electric Wine Opener SetNo products found.
Not everyone purchasing an electric wine opener is buying it for their own home. Some rightfully view one of these units as the perfect gift for a friend or relative who enjoys wine. In that case, the Vremi nine-piece set is an ideal choice because a number of accessories are included in the nicely-packaged, inexpensive kit.
The opener itself is black with a small transparent section at the bottom; you can‘t see as much of the “guts” as you can with the Wine Enthusiast or Securi models, for example, but it’s better than nothing. The wine opener is made from stainless steel with an ABS grip, so it’s relatively durable and not a bad choice for those without a lot of strength in their wrists. The screw doesn’t do a great job with synthetic corks, however, so stick to natural corks.
Also included with the set are a non-transparent foil cutter and drip collar, plus an aerating pourer, manual vacuum pump and matching rubber stoppers (to theoretically let your wine last for a week or more). Your House Garden wasn’t overly impressed with the performance of the pump, but we also weren’t surprised since a high-quality wine vacuum pump like the Vacu Vin costs almost as much by itself as you’ll pay for the entire Vremi kit. Even so, it’s still a cool toy for non-oenophiles, and the entire kit is priced at less than 20 bucks.
The Vremi electric wine opener kit is a great, inexpensive gift for someone who drinks wine regularly – or for yourself.
More info on the Vremi Nine-Piece Electric Wine Opener Set:
6. iTronics 700 Electric Wine Opener
The last thing most people need is yet another appliance or accessory that hogs counter or bar space. The iTronics 700 is designed to help wine devotees who want an electric opener but have a limited amount of room for it. This is a one-piece unit that doesn’t require a separate charger base, has a very good foil cutter built into the removable base, and is the slimmest model we’ve checked out.
One other feature stands out on the iTronics 700: its Tesla-style rechargeable battery, which can deliver as many as 180 bottle openings before it needs to be recharged.
This opener is pretty reliable for its reasonable price and plastic construction; the reasons the Your House Garden team didn’t rank it higher is that it doesn’t have a transparent bottom, it’s not a great performer on synthetic corks, and it does require a decent amount of hand strength to operate properly. With those caveats, the team liked this iTronics electric opener a lot.
Those who don’t have a lot of available counter space and don’t require a transparent bottom on their wine opener will love the iTronics 700. It’s a good performer for its price.
The scoop on the iTronics 700 Electric Wine Opener:
7. Uncle Viner Electric Wine Opener
Just about all of the electric wine openers reviewed by the Your House Garden team operate on non-replaceable, rechargeable lithium batteries. Some have a separate charging dock while others have to be connected to an AC charger when they run low on juice.
The Uncle Viner makes things easier for those who regularly take wine with them on picnics, on campouts, or even to the backyard, because it can operate on four standard AA batteries. You can use rechargeable NiMH batteries if you’d like, of course (and four of them, plus a charger, are included), but the ability to use ordinary batteries make this unit the most versatile we’ve seen.
The Uncle Viner has a transparent bottom section and soft blue LED lighting when in use, which are positives. It doesn’t perform well with synthetic corks and isn’t particularly durable, and those are obviously the minuses. Add it all up, and you have a decent electric opener which is the best choice to take on the road, since you can just slap new batteries into it when it runs down.
The team wouldn’t choose the Uncle Viner for a home electric wine opener, but it’s a good model to have for picnicking or traveling.
A deeper dive on the Uncle Viner Electric Wine Opener:
8. BFULL Electric Wine Opener With Air PressureNo products found.
If you’d never heard about electric wine openers until recently, we’ll bet you’ve never heard of an air pressure wine opener. This BFULL set has both an electric opener and an air pressure opener, at a price that’s higher than most standalone electric units but lower than the cost of our top-ranked Wine Spectator opener.
The BFULL electric wine opener is a standard one-touch model with a transparent bottom, quite similar to the Uncle Viner in that it runs on four AA batteries; it’s your choice whether you want to use rechargeable or disposable AA’s.
The air pressure opener is a totally different animal. It has a moderately-thick needle, which you insert into the cork after removing the foil top on the bottle. You then pump the body a few times, and air pressure inserted into the wine bottle pushes the cork right out. It is specifically designed to be used on old bottles of wine with old corks that might crumble, but it can be used on any “non-synthetic” corks.
The set also comes with two vacuum bottle stoppers, an aerating pourer and a foil cutter.
|A fully featured offering especially useful for people who like to store wine for many years – oh, and also for people who like to amuse and amaze their guests.|
Specs for the BFULL Electric Wine Opener With Air Pressure Wine Opener:
9. Cuisinart CWO-25 Electric Wine Opener
Cuisinart makes great-looking appliances, and their electric wine bottle opener is no exception. It’s completely stainless steel with black trim, and while it somewhat resembles a stylized rocket ship when it’s sitting in its stainless-and-black charging base, the CWO-25 is a perfect match for a modern décor. Why don’t we rank it higher?
Simply because its performance is a little spottier than we expected – although with the premium brand name you can expect premium customer support.
The stainless build means there’s no transparent bottom section, always a drawback in our eyes because it takes more work to ensure that the worm is set property onto the top of the cork. After clearing that hurdle, however, this opener works quite well for both standard and synthetic corks.
Operation is idiot-proof, with two buttons for removing the cork and then ejecting it from the unit. There’s a NiMH battery inside the unit, which will last for as many as 50 uses before needing to be recharged.
You’ll pay a little more than average for this Cuisinart opener, and it’s a little less reliable than we’d expect from a product with that brand name on it. But it does the job and looks snazzy sitting on a modern bar.
Looking closer at the Cuisinart CWO-25 Electric Wine Opener:
10. Rabbit Automatic Electric Corkscrew
You’ll have a hard time finding an electric wine opener similar to this one. It’s a fabulous option for those who don’t have a lot of hand strength or suffer from arthritis.
That’s because this opener really is fully automatic.
There are no buttons to push after you’ve removed the foil with the built-in foil cutter; once you place the Rabbit on top of a wine bottle it should detect the cork automatically, starts and screws in automatically, removes the cork automatically, and then ejects the cork from the device automatically.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch – that is, after you have worked out the little details that are required to make it function optimally. The opener recharges via a USB/wall adapter and is available in red, black and silver.
You can probably tell that we loved the idea of the Rabbit, but weren’t overly thrilled by the fact that you have to be very precise when using it. If arthritis means you have trouble working any sort of corkscrew, however, this model may be well worth its price to you.
The story behind the Rabbit Automatic Electric Corkscrew:
Best Electric Wine Opener Buying Guide
All baseball bats and hockey sticks look nearly identical. But sports fans know that pro athletes are very particular about their bats and sticks, because very small differences can make a huge impact on performance.
That somewhat-silly analogy may explain why the different models of electric wine openers on the market aren’t all the same, despite the fact that they look quite similar and operate in the same basic way. The devil is in the details, and the details are important when shopping for a wine opener.
To appreciate the differences, you first have to know how electric wine openers work.
The Basics of an Electric Wine Opener
Just about every electric wine opener is designed to sit on a counter or tabletop. Since most of these appliances are rechargeable, they usually sit in a charger base until they’re needed.
The opener is built in the shape of a cylinder, with an open bottom that fits snugly over a wine bottle that’s had the foil removed. The corkscrew and motor are inside the cylinder, and they’re activated with the push of a button. The motor turns the corkscrew so it bites into the cork and snakes all the way down to grab the cork tight. When the user lifts the cylinder up, the cork comes with it – all in one piece, with no little fragments falling into the wine. Another push of the button and the cork can be removed from the opener. Easy-peasy.
How many differences could there be in such a relatively-simple operation? As it turns out, quite a few.
Type of Corkscrew
Almost all of the best electric wine openers will have a “worm-style” corkscrew, rather than an auger. It’s not hard to visualize a worm-style corkscrew; it’s a single piece of metal that looks like a coiled worm. An auger has a straight metal shaft, with the worm seeming to “curl” around it. Both work, but an auger is more likely to shave off a small piece of cork (which might land inside the wine bottle) as it digs into the cork.
Once you know that the electric opener you’ve chosen is “worm-style,” check the corkscrew’s length. It should be at least 1¾ inches long, because a shorter one won’t dig deep enough into the cork. A short screw often causes the cork to break into two parts when the corkscrew is lifted, with the opener only pulling out the top half.
A final check you should make is whether the electric corkscrew can remove plastic corks. Some models that work fine with actual cork don’t have enough power to push through the dense plastic used to cork less-expensive wines.
The primary reason for buying an electric wine bottle opener is certainty. You want to be certain that the cork comes out of the bottle easily and in one piece, every time.
Guesswork is the enemy of certainty. And when you use electric openers without a transparent bottom section you have to rely on guesswork. Solid black or stainless steel appliances may look stylish sitting on the corner of your bar, but if you can’t watch the corkscrew do its work you won’t know when it’s all the way into the cork and the appliance is ready to be lifted. If you guess wrong, you won’t be removing a cork. You’ll end up removing just half-a-cork.
That’s why the Your House Garden review team prefers electric wine openers with see-through bottoms. You may only guess wrong with an opaque-bottom opener every once in a while – but if you’re getting ready to enjoy an expensive bottle of wine, or putting on a show for company, the last thing you want is a broken cork.
One more issue while we’re talking about transparency involves the foil cutter. All of these appliances come with a device that will easily cut the foil that seals a bottle of wine. You usually clamp the cutter onto the top of the bottle, spin it around, and the blade slices cleanly through the foil.
The problem with some cutters is that they aren’t transparent, so you can’t see when you’ve made a complete circle and the foil is ready to be pulled off. You may have to go back for a second or third try, so once again, you’re relying on guesswork. Is that a fatal flaw for an otherwise-terrific electric wine bottle opener? Of course not. But it can definitely be annoying, and worth considering before buying.
Other Buying Factors
A few other specifics to look at when shopping for an electric wine opener:
Naturally, durability and price will factor into your decision as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Wine Openers
Q: Can you operate an electric wine opener with just one hand?
Q: If these electric models are so great, why don’t restaurants use them?
Q: Does the power of an electric wine opener matter?
If you are serious about your wine, have a nice collection, but don’t really know how to store the bottles properly, then we highly recommend you read our review of the best wine refrigerators.