How to Master the Wine Tools We Use Every Day

Opening a bottle of wine can be a tricky task. That’s why we’ve asked the Frank Family Hospitality team to share their wine tool essentials, from the trusty double-hinged corkscrew to the investment-worthy Coravin Pivot Wine Preservation System, or even the reliable Ah-So wine opener for those special, older vintages. Understanding these tools sets the stage for peak enjoyment of your favorite bottles.

The Coravin Pivot

Coravin makes a wide range of preservation systems, from their classic to the Pivot and now their sparkling system. Our hospitality team particularly loves the Pivot device and we’ve adopted it into our daily use in the Frank Family tasting room. The Pivot ingeniously extends the life of wine by filling the empty space of the bottle with ultra-pure argon gas while you pour, protecting the remaining wine from oxidation for up to four weeks.

“The Coravin Pivot was a game changer for our tasting room service,” says Frank Family’s Director of Hospitality, Liam Gearity. “It has allowed us to serve splashes of our most exclusive and high-end wines without concern of the wine losing its freshness.”

The system itself couldn’t be easier to use. Simply replace the cork with a Pivot stopper. When you’re ready to pour, insert the Pivot device through the stopper, tip the bottle, and press the button. When finished, remove the device and close the stopper cap. Custom Frank Family Coravin Pivot devices are available for purchase in the tasting room or by calling us at 707-942-0859.

Double-Hinged Waiter’s Corkscrew

There are a variety of contraptions available for opening a bottle of wine, from battery-powered tools to the winged corkscrew, and everything in between. But sometimes simplicity trumps complexity, and the double-hinged corkscrew (preferably with a serrated blade) is a prime example. Perhaps the simplest tool of them all, these corkscrews are used by beverage professionals all over the world, as well as in the Frank Family tasting room, and for good reason. They are easy to use and won’t break the cork.

For bottles with a wax seal, like many Frank Family wines, simply use the tip of the corkscrew to push through the wax and twist it off with the cork. For chilled wines, the wax may be harder to pierce, so we recommend placing the pad of your thumb over the wax dollop to warm it before trying to open the wine.

The Ah-So

The Ah-So is a two-pronged wine opener that slides into the neck of the bottle, hugging the cork on each side. The opener twists up to remove the cork without breaking or crumbling. The Ah-So is designed for bottles with some age since over time a bottle’s cork will begin to break down and become fragile. If a younger cork splits in half when using a corkscrew, switching to the Ah-So will help avoid pushing the cork further into the bottle.