Picture It

January 2017, spending the final evening in a house that was sold. Everything is packed. The emotions are running haywire. Thrilled and nervous at the same time about all the changes that are occurring in life. The packers have finally left and it is dinner time. You do the final walk through of the house to make sure that everything is indeed in boxes and to your pleasure, there isn’t a single paperclip, pen or paper towel left behind. It is time to sit, relax and reflect. You call your favorite local restaurant to order your favorite meal for the last time. As you hang up the phone, panic strikes! Sheer, unadulterated fear consumes you all the way down to your soul! Every bottle of wine has been packed! You immediately begin to scream but comfort can not be found. 

After a brief breakdown, you begin to regain control and decide you will go to the local wine shop and purchase a bottle. Problem solved, well half a problem. You start googling ways to open a wine bottle without a bottle opener. You know you have seen loads of articles about that! However, everything that you can use to open the bottle is also packed. Back to square one! Then it happens. Then you get an idea, an awful idea, a wonderful awful idea! You knew just what to do. You laughed in your throat and you grabbed your winter hat and coat. And you chuckled, and clucked, “What a great wine trick!” 

You drive to your local wine shop and choose a wine that will pair amazingly with your favorite meal. You confidently walk up to the cashier and hand them your wine. You flash your best smile and you coyly wink your eye and flip your hair as you ask in your most gentle voice, “Do you mind opening this for me?” You listen to how that can’t be done, and you proceed to bat your eyelashes more and maybe, just maybe a tear is forming as you tell your story.

Two minutes later you are walking out of the wine shop with opened bottle in hand. Smiling and laughing at your sheer genius! As you gently place the opened bottle (cork in top) in the seat next to you, you make a promise to yourself to never ever be in that situation again. You decide you will make sure you always have a bottle opener with you. You decide to begin a mission to find the best bottle opener you can, so that you will always have an easy time  opening your wine.

Brief History of the Bottle Opener

In its most basic form a corkscrew is a simple tool used for drawing corks from wine bottles. The traditionalist version is a pointed metallic helix (worm) attached to a handle. The user screws the worm into the cork and then pulls in order to extract it. Over time, different styles of corkscrews have been invented using different types of levers to make the cork removal easier. 

It is believed that the original design was developed from the tool that musketmen used to remove unused charges from the gun’s barrel in the early 1630s. Although there is some controversy who actually invented the corkscrew, the first patent was filed in 1795 in England by Reverend Samuel Henshall. He placed a disc (now known as a Henshall Button) between the helix and the handle. The disk’s job was to prevent the helix from going too deep into the cork and forced it to turn as the use turned the crosspiece. This action broke the adhesion between the neck of the bottle and the cork itself. 

Types of Corkscrews

Avina Wine Tools

I was contacted by Francesca of Avina wine tools and asked if I would be interested in trying out one of their bottle openers. They have five different types. Four waiter’s knives and one winged style opener and also have wine charms and a bottle stopper.  

As with many companies, Avina was started out of frustration of using other products. One too many wine mishaps in the refrigerator and the desire to be able to relax with a glass of wine without having a corkscrew fall apart or destroy a cork while opening was enough to inspire this line of wine tools. With a desire to create products that focused on quality craftsmanship, innovative design and superior functionality, Avina wine products went from being an idea to becoming a reality. They have such faith in their products that they have a phenomenal “You Break It, We Replace It” guarantee, so you never have to buy another wine corkscrew or beer bottle opener again. How amazing is that?

My Experience

I received the Barracuda – Bartenders Corkscrew & Bottle Opener set. It comes in a delightful package and retails for $28.99 (hint hint – makes for a great present.) The opener is made from steel and ebony and is designed to fit ergonomically in your hand. 

Last week, we poured our 2014 Cabernet Franc at a charity event for a local hospital. As I was preparing for the event, I packed our wine and thought this would be a great test for the wine opener, so I threw the Avina wine tool set in the box. Then I had a little panic attack. What if this product isn’t good and I’m stuck at the event without a bottle opener? Could I borrow one if it didn’t work, yeah, but that wouldn’t leave a great impression of Dracaena Wines so I decided to also bring a backup. 


I arrived at the event and was brought to my table. I set up and then it was the moment of truth. It was time to open the bottles and get ready for the doors to open.  I picked up the Barracuda and the first thing I noticed was how solid the product was. I was immediately impressed. I could feel the quality in my hand right away. There was not a flimsy part on the entire tool. 


Although my bottle opener of choice is a waiter’s knife, one thing I don’t like about them is the foil knife. I have never had one that had a proper angle on it or sharp enough teeth to make a cut in one turn around the bottle. It usually takes a couple of turns and then I still have to find the one spot that has the deeper cut that I can start picking at. BUT when I opened the knife on the Barracuda, I instantly noticed the curve and teeth. I picked up my first bottle and positioned the knife on the neck of the bottle. The curve of the knife cozied up to the bottle and with very little pressure, I turned my bottle and viola! the foil was sliced. It was easy to pick the cap with the tip of the knife and the foil was gone!  Score one for the Avina Barracuda!


Now for the big test. Could the opener actually OPEN a bottle? I closed the knife and opened the worm.  Again the quality craftsmanship jumped out at me. It was tightly put together and fit nicely in my hand. One smooth pull and the cork came out like a gem. I moved on to my second bottle with the same results. As the night progressed, not once, did that back up opener enter my thoughts. The Barracuda held up strong and made it through the night like a champ. I have found my new favorite opener!

I did not use the bottle stopper (SRP: $12.99 for 3) while at the event. But I did get a chance to use it at home. According to their website:

NEVER THROW AWAY GOOD WINE AGAIN – Locks In Flavors – take your time with wine, preserve opened bottles and save money

KEEPS WINE FRESH – Hygienic – the airtight hermetic seal clamps on to lock in delicious aromas so your wine tastes as good tomorrow

NO LEAKS, NO WASTEFUL SPILLS – Easy Fridge Storage – the rubber leak-proof bottle stopper clamps in place for no mess wine storage, even when laying bottles on their side

EASY PUSH & LOCK MECHANISM – Simple To Use – no forcing corks back into the bottle, this is the no fuss alternative to wine saver vacuum sealers

FITS ALL STANDARD WINE BOTTLES – Set of 3 – Wine Bar quality, strong & durable, backed with our ‘You Break It, We Replace It’ guarantee, a great gift for wine lovers. NOT suitable for screwtops

I can attest that it fits nicely on both a sparkling wine and Burgundy bottles. Those are what I have used them on so far. They fit in easily and snap into place. When you open you can hear the air come out showing that it was sealed securely. They state no leaking while in a lied down position, so I wanted to put the stopper to the test. I lied the bottles down and there was no leaking what so ever over a two-day period. As for the wine, it held up and tasted  just as good as it did when I opened the bottle. Once again, I have no complaints. I love these products!

Get Your Own

Avina Wine Products have given me authority to offer a special deal to my readers and social media followers. They created the discount code AVINA15A which will give you 15% off any order. All you have to do is purchase from their website (www.avinawinetools.com) or Amazon.com and insert the promotional code during the checkout process. I love these products and I think you will too! 


Disclosure of wine sample submission:  I received these products at no cost from Avina Wine Tools. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.



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