Value for Money: Bottle openers

The test


Groggy Corkscrew (Ikea)


The only good thing about this product is its name. It is set up like a regular waiter’s friend, but it fails at the most basic requirements. It struggles to catch the rim of the bottle and there is a lot of slippage when we try to get the cork out of the bottle of plonk, making it necessary to resort to brute strength, with all manner of pointy bits in the handle threatening to do damage. It is cheap and looks funky but it is annoying to use and destined for the bin. Or the back of the drawer at least.

Verdict: Rage-inducing.
Star rating: **

Le Creuset ‘Satin Black’ €217

Yes, you read that right: this really costs €217. And it does nothing but open bottles of wine. It is one of the most ludicrously overpriced items we hav e ever reviewed on these pages. While it looks lovely, opens bottles with great ease and comes from a company that makes excellent products that will last many lifetimes, there is no way this is a price worth paying, unless perhaps by the very drunk.

Its size is almost as problematic as its price- it is too big and you’d need a large kitchen to accomodate it comfortably - although, if you can afford to spend this kind of case on a jumped-up corkscrew, you probably live in a mansion.

Verdict: Ah here!

Star rating: *

Oxo Good Grips €20.50

This is an ultra-reliable corkscrew that will open your bottles without any fuss. It is particularly useful for weaklings. It is very sturdy and will almost certainly last a long time, and it comes in a range of different styles. It is slightly clunky and a bit pricey, and, while it does do its job without any fuss, there is no satisfying pop of the cork as it comes out.

Verdict: Good but not great.

Star rating: ***

The Waiter’s Friend €5

When it comes to opening a bottle of wine, you can’t beat the waiter’s friend. The hinges make even the most recalcitrant corks come loose with ease, while it takes up a very small amount of space in any kitchen drawer. This branded option from Searsons Wine Merchants is very good value at €5 and it works effortlessly and flawlessly all the time. The hooked end always catches the bottle and the hinge has never let us down.

Verdict: Perfect.

Star rating: *****