Review: Brookstone Automatic Wine Opener

Ever since wines were first put in glass bottles centuries ago, there’s been an endless parade of openers devised to get the cork out of the vessel. And no matter which one you use today, all of them still require a little bit of dexterity and a dash of elbow grease to pry a stubborn stopper out. How medieval — there must be a better way.

Leave it to the gizmo-meisters at Brookstone to devise an automated answer to vino vicissitudes of extracting stoppers. Powered by a quick-charge battery, their Automatic Wine Opener pulls out natural and synthetic corks with just the touch of a button. Here’s how it works: You hold the black, 10-inch-long opener directly over a bottle, steady the bottle with your other hand, and push a down-arrow button. Yeah, it still requires a teeny amount of manual strength, but the tiny engine does most of the work. Push on the up-arrow button and the cork is released from the mechanism. The opener sits on a cool-looking recharging base which also holds the included foil cutter that clips the top capsule to expose the cork.

But just because the process is automated doesn’t mean you still don’t need a little finesse. The first time we applied the opener to a bottle, we managed to chip a piece of glass off the top rim. The instructions were clear enough: Hold the device straight over the bottle. If you do that, the opener works like a delicious dream. Because, hey, in your wine you’re supposed to find truth — not the remnants of a brittle cork.

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