Expressions: The Blog

How to Use an Ah-So Corkscrew

An Ah-So corkscrew (also known as a “cork fork” or a “butler’s thief) is basically two metal prongs that you shimmy down the sides of the cork and then pull up. The functionality is as basic as it gets and it requires more muscle than other corkscrews, but it comes in handy when you have a crumbly or broken cork (like on an old wine).

Here are the steps to using an Ah- So or check out Josh’s video to see it in person!

  1. Insert the longer prong first, then the shorter side
  2. Rock the prongs back and forth while pulling up
  3. The cork should move up as you pull until voila! you’ve removed the cork
  4. If the cork is broken simply repeat the above steps for each piece
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  1. Karole Miele

    July 2, 2019 - 1:19 pm

    I can only hope I am privileged enough to enjoy a glass of wine coming out of a bottle old enough to require the use of an Ah-So corkscrew!

  2. A.J. Delaup

    July 4, 2019 - 10:34 am

    You can throw that devise away. Don’t even try to use it, you could shove it into your fingers or hand.
    Just saying 🙁

  3. RP

    July 8, 2019 - 5:04 pm

    No sir… that is not the way to use that device. You are going to break it. You must insert the prongs all the way down to the handle BEFORE twisting and pulling up. I suggest switching to a cork screw if the prongs will not slip around the cork. By the way, this device allows you to save the cork intact without damage.

    • Mitchell Pain

      January 18, 2020 - 3:27 pm

      I’m a somm and agree. If the prongs aren’t all the way in you can snap them off. We had a house guest do that to my Ah-so when I was not there to open the bottle. It can do a little damage to older corks so you have to make sure no cork goes into the bottle when you pull the cork out. I usually give a little wipe just before it’s ready to come out.

  4. AA

    September 29, 2019 - 4:14 pm

    Something we have found helpful using the “ah-so” is to touch a finger print lightly into the liquid of what’s being served (steak fat?) or whatever and deftly rub the tines of the ah-so. This eases the entry of the tines into the neck of the bottle and makes removing the cork that much easier.

  5. John Sementa

    April 29, 2020 - 2:43 pm

    I use an Ah-So (I prefer “Butler’s Friend”) almost all of the time. I don’t mean to be overly critical but I have yet to see a more ham handed demonstration on how to use one than the above video. The secret is easy does it. Get the prongs started as described and gently ease it back and forth until the tines are all the way down. Lastly with a twisting motion ease the cork out. This type of cork screw is especially helpful with older bottles, like Vintage Port or 1855 Classified Bordeaux which commonly peak at 20+ years past vintage.

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