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Embracing Tradition: The Art of Using Handmade Laguiole Corkscrews

In the age of convenience, where a digital gadget exists for every conceivable purpose, the notion of employing a humble corkscrew might seem archaic. Yet there is something enduringly romantic about the act of hand-opening a fine bottle of wine with a Laguiole corkscrew. To me, it is an art—an art rooted in tradition, passed down through the ages, and an essential component of the sacred wine-drinking ritual.

The Beauty of Handmade Corkscrews

A Laguiole Waiter's corkscrew embodies the values of meticulous craftsmanship and the celebration of the artisan’s touch. The attention to detail in each piece is obvious, from the handle carved from noble materials to the precise engineering of the helix. This is not merely a tool; it is a heirloom in waiting, an object of beauty in its own right.

Crafted from the world-renowned cutlery village of Laguiole in France, each corkscrew is an embodiment of quality and care, a tribute to the skilled hands that shaped it. In an era where mass production is king, these handcrafted pieces not only stand out but also serve as a connection to culinary traditions that have stood the test of time.

Enhancing the Wine Experience

The sound of the blade cutting the foil, the anticipation in the air as the corkscrew is twisted, and the final satisfying pop as the wine is released—these sensory moments are intrinsic to the wine-drinking experience. The use of a Laguiole corkscrew is a theatre of its own, a precursor to the main act of tasting, a dance of pleasure and ritual that enhances every nuance of the wine.

There is symbolism in the act as well. For me, using a Laguiole corkscrew to open a bottle of fine wine is a nod to the past, a gesture that recognizes and respects the history of winemaking. It’s a way of saying that the wine within is not just a commodity but a product of the land and labor that deserves to be treated with reverence.

The Pleasure of the Process

Hand-opening a bottle of wine with a Laguiole corkscrew is a pleasure in itself, a tactile experience that heightens the senses. The weight of the handle, the smoothness of the twist, and the satisfaction of the cork’s extraction are sensations that cannot be replicated by a battery-operated counterpart.

In a world that rushes from one instant to the next, there is a certain satisfaction in the deliberate pace of the corkscrew. This process forces us to slow down and appreciate the act of opening a bottle of wine as an event in its own right, not merely a precursor to consumption.

Personal Reflection

My appreciation for Laguiole cutlery is not just an aesthetic or a philosophical one; it is deeply personal, my family has been living in the Aveyron department of France (Arvieux, Requista, La Selve) for over 400 years. The first Laguiole I ever used was handed down to me by my father, who in turn received it from his, it was a folding Laguiole knife with a corkscrew and a awl. Each scratch and mark on its handle tells a story of the everyday tasks and the wines it has opened; the occasions it has graced.


The use of a Laguiole corkscrew may appear as a simple act in the grand tapestry of wine appreciation, but in its simplicity lies a profound beauty. It is a tangible link between the present and the past, and a reminder that some things in life are best enjoyed when we take the time to do them right.

In advocating for the continued use of traditional, handmade corkscrews, I urge fellow wine enthusiasts not to forsake the pleasures of the old world for the lure of modern convenience. The art of using a Laguiole corkscrew is a testament to a culture that values quality over quantity, history over haste, and tradition over trend. In doing so, we not only honor the wine but also enrich our own experience of it.

Still feel compelled to use an electric wine opener? Here they are.

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