Wine Opening and Presenting a Bottle of Wine to Your Guest MADE SIMPLE

Wine Opening and Presenting a Bottle of Wine to Your Guest MADE SIMPLE

According to the internet when it comes to wine opening, and presenting a bottle of wine to you guest, there are over 50 different ways to do it. These can range from a 25-step process lasting 15 minutes to simply twisting off a cap. This article will cover key tips to wine opening that will make even the fussiest of clients nod with appreciation.

The Key…..literally

When opening wine, a proper wine key makes all the difference in the world, and its cost won’t break the bank. What sets a good wine key apart from the rest is the double-hinge feature. The hinge will allow you more control over opening the wine with less pressure to the bottle. The best part is, many wine distributors give away wine keys as part of their promotions and will allot a certain number per establishment.

While double-hinge wine openers are not expensive, free is always better!

Wine Opening and Presenting a Bottle of Wine to Your Guest MADE SIMPLE


It is necessary to present the bottle…Always. Present the label to the guest who ordered and wait for their response. Aside from being about presentation etiquette this step is important; if a guest accuses the server of bringing the wrong bottle after it has been poured, that mistake is now on the server.

When the guest has acknowledged the bottle, then the server can continue with the opening process.

Wine Opening and Presenting a Bottle of Wine to Your Guest MADE SIMPLE

The Slice

Using the knife on the wine key, cut a level ring around the base of the opening where the lip and stem meet. Be mindful to use a good amount of pressure and slowly turn the bottle with your other hand.

You want the cut to be clean and easy to remove from the bottle. Once removed, place the discarded foil in your apron pocket or anywhere unseen by the guest. Do not leave the foil on the table.

Wine Opening and Presenting a Bottle of Wine to Your Guest MADE SIMPLE

The Placement

Lay the corkscrew in a 90 degree angle with the cork making sure that the screw tip is directly in the middle of the cork. Make a small indention with the screw tip and raise the key directly over the cork. Once you have the corkscrew aligned with the bottle, apply pressure while screwing in the key. Continue until the corkscrew is about a half of an inch visible.

Opening Wine correctly

The Pull

Tilt the handle of the wine key back and place the first notch of the wine key over the lip of the bottle. Use your fingers in a gripping motion to hold the bottle and wine key in place. Pull up on the wine key handle until the cork feels like it is starting to bend

Push down on the wine handle and let the second notch catch the lip of the wine bottle. Once it is in place, tighten your grip and lift the handle of the opener until only the tip of the cork is remaining in the bottle.

The Extraction

Grab the bottom of the stem bottle and use your other hand to wrap around the cork screw and cork simultaneously. Rotate the hand with the corkscrew in a circular pattern while pulling the cork out of the bottle. The goal is that there will be little noise when the cork releases from the bottle and it will be a smooth transition that the guest won’t notice.

Unscrew the cork from the key and place it on the table. Another option is to hand the cork directly to the guest for inspection.

Other Notes:

  • Always speak to the person at the table that has ordered the wine. They should be the one to sample the wine first
  • Many restaurants will have wine buckets or chillers for white wines. If a guest orders a white wine make sure to ask them if they would like it in a wine bucket to keep it chilled at their table, do not assume that they would.
  • Some restaurants and/or guests will prefer a more traditional type of pouring which would consist of starting with the host, then working clockwise but serving the women in the group first, then returning to the men.
  • Always hold glassware from the stem. (Furthest from the top of the glass)
  • If possible, the server should be responsible for refilling wine to all the guests at the table, ladies first.
  • When pouring, turn the bottle while lifting from the glass to limit the wine dripping.

What do you think?

Written by Will Willoughby

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