The Ah So Cork Puller: Why You MUST Use It With Older-Vintage Wines!

This is an all-too common problem. I wish I never had to deal with it. But it happens. Here’s the scenario: Someone has an older vintage wine. They’re very, very, very excited that the day has finally come to open this magic offering. Out comes the wine bottle. Then out comes the Waiter’s Corkscrew.


Or The Rabbit.


Or heaven forefend, The Butterfly.


In goes the augured instrument of evil, the coil. (Or the worm. Or the screw. Whatever term you prefer.) Anyhow, the point is, to an older-vintage wine, this thing is a weapon. Not a cork extraction method. It’s a weapon. It rips. It tears. It shreds. It is evil. The poor, sensitive, yielding cork does more than yield. It crumbles. The magic is gone, someone weeps. It’s like offering to help an elegant old lady across the street by giving her a ride on a dirt bike. Or running over her with a bus.

For ages now, I’ve been trying to let people know about the Ah So Cork Puller.


All of us here embrace the Ah So. It’s the ONLY answer to the question of safe extraction of vintage corks. I’ve fielded so many e-mails about this issue over the years that I’ve pretty much got a stock answer I can just paste in. We have a document on file here that explains how to use an Ah So. I’ve sent it out too many times. But as someone here at Ridge very wisely noted, trying to explain how to use an Ah So in writing is like trying to write instructions for tying a shoelace. The act just can’t quite be captured by the written word. So now, we have a video.

Please watch this video. And please, please, please use an Ah So Cork Puller any time you open an older-vintage wine, Ridge or otherwise. This will change your life.

And please note, all the cork extraction methods noted above are perfectly fine for new bottlings. But for an older vintage wine? Ah So. Only.

Categories: Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine Accessories


13 replies

  1. I also use a little neutral oil on the prongs after each time to keep the metal slick enough to slide down the neck and also prevent rust. Traditional cork screws just destroy old corks. I always bring my own Ah-so and the wait staff often are caught off guard. Seems many young restaurant people only know of a cork screw. There are also a number of restaurants who gladly provide decanters and know what to do with a older vintage wine.

  2. Most informative and enjoyable………
    Makes me feel more confident trying to get used to that “so simple” opener !!

  3. I have been using the two-pronged corkscrew for 20 years now. It really is the ONLY thing to use on older vintages, and also comes in handy in saving disasters that arise when using other corkscrews. Even recent vintages can have their corks torn apart by a bad coil, or a coil that is not long enough. I have never had a problem with the Ah SO design. Truly a wonderful invention!

  4. I am a big fan of the Ah-So. I use it for all natural corks. There is nothing worse that a crumbled cork in a great bottle of old wine.

  5. I aimed at American bubbles only. Liked the Westport Rivers Brut Cuvée (Boston wine?) and Sylvan Ridge’s Early Muscat ’cause I must have my sugar!

    • Boston wine? Oh dear … I love Sylvan Ridge tho! And despite their seeming rise in omnipresence, I remain a big fan of Gruet, particularly their blanc de noir!


  6. Careful, kids. It’s all fun until someone loses an eye.

    Seriously, a useful video (although the rings were a bit of a, er, distraction), and excellent advice for handling any older wine. Thanks!

    • Well, no eyes were harmed in the making of this video! And I’m glad you found it useful. As to my rings, well, one is a gift from my missus, one a gift from my other, and one a gift from my Grandpa, so distraction or no, I sure am sticking with ’em! I mean, yeah, our hand model was a little, er, flamboyant! Cheers …


  7. I have never known how to use that thing. Thanks!

    • Joseph Hayes, wonderful to hear from you! How goes the world of restaurant reviewing?


      • Fattening. But I did just do a sparkling wine roundup for our December issue that I quite enjoyed. Maybe we can put something Ridge-y in an upcoming feature.

      • Uber-groovy! What were some of your favorite sparklers? Me, I’m a bit of a cava nut lately, with Gramona being my personal favorite … served it at my wedding! And as to Ridge-y-ness, you know where to find me!


Leave a Reply to christopherwatkins Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: