Wine Word of the Week: Waiter’s friend

By Kori ~ June 28th, 2011.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is waiter’s friend.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
In 1882, Karl Wienke of Rostock, Mecklenburg [Germany] conceived of using a knife-like handle as a lever [for a corkscrew]. Known affectionately as the waiter’s friend, it is still the essential tool of a sommelier worldwide. The development of an articulated lever makes this model even easier to use as the cork is extracted in two stages, keeping it more upright and less likely to break.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
The waiter’s friend is a very versatile wine bottle opener that looks like a pocketknife. It’s what you see the waiter use to open a bottle at your table, thus the name. While different versions are offered at a wide range of prices, it is generally an inexpensive opener. It is easy to use, very portable, and is available in single and double-hinged versions. The double-hinged waiter’s friend is my wine bottle opener of choice.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. George Becker | July 4th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Now I know what a waiter’s friend is as well as a plumber’s helper.

  2. TheGourmetCoffeeGuy | July 4th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Always interesting to know the origin of words and the history behind expressions such as “the waiter’s friend.” Nice post as usual.

  3. Kori | July 5th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Good one. 🙂

    Thanks for your kind words.