The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Santa Monica, California, August 20, 1991 - Peter Franke has designed a corkscrew which stands on a Golf Tee sheath which protects the worm when not in use. When readied for use, the ball and worm are pulled from the sheath and the sheath is inserted in a hole in the ball to serve as the handle. Franke's invention has been assigned United States Design Patent Number 319,170.
Spearfish, South Dakota - Frank Schoonmaker was born on this date in 1905. In 1925 Frank left Princeton University where he had studied for two years and went off to see the world. He headed for Europe and wandered about for several years as an early day "Hippie." He first wrote a book about surviving cheaply in Europe but after he had toured a lot of wine country, his knowledge of wines and expertise in the subject grew.
Schoonmaker got to know winemakers, exporters, and importers worldwide and soon became a well-recognized, respected member of the wine community. He wrote extensively about the subject for many years and in the year before his January, 1976 death, his Encyclopedia of Wine was published.
Here's some of what Frank said about corkscrews:
Corkscrew - Device for pulling corks: in its simplest, traditional form, a wire spiral attached to some sort of handle. But there are literally hundreds of diverse and ingenious modifications today, some admirably efficient, some wholly worthless.
A wine-drinker, in choosing a corkscrew, should keep in mind that the screw itself, or worm or mèche, is far more important than all the elaborate, silver-plated or wooden levers or double-levers, or reverse helixes, which are supposed to bring out the cork with a minimum of effort. All are pretentious and ridiculous unless the screw itself is properly designed.
He goes on to describe the best type of worm and the features of prong pullers and cork ejectors. The book has details on thousands of wine terms, wine types, wine tools, and related items. It should be in every wine enthusast's library.
Letter to the Editor
Trying the MetaCork
I read about the "MetaCork" in the August 5th issue of The Daily Screw and today, when I saw bottle of Chardonnay that had it installed, I had to buy it and give the MetaCork a try. The cork came out relatively easily, but I was surprised when I inspected all the parts.
The MetaCork article said that "corkscrews may become a thing of the past." Instead, I think it should read that the MetaCork is a new style of mechanical corkscrew.
When all the parts were disassembled, I found a left-hand archimedean corkscrew embedded in the cork. The mechanism is actually a threaded shaft corkscrew with the right-hand threads built into the bottle and the capsule acting as the frame to raise the corkscrew and cork. Instead of replacing the corkscrew, if this becomes popular it may turn out to be a whole new sub-specialty for collectors.
Ed Bystran, California
©2003 Don Bull, Editor