Ah So What the Heck is That?

The picture to the left is a picture of a non traditional wine opener, yes a wine opener. The term Ah So, is a translation from the German saying “Ach So” loosely meaning “Ah, I see”. Aptly named, because from looking at this object you would not think that it would be capable of pulling a cork out of a bottle, and after you figure out how to use it you exclaim “Ah, so that’s what it is for!”

Another name for the Ah So is the “Butlers Friend”, because butlers who were dishonest could remove the cork without puncturing or damaging it. They would do this in order to take a swig of wine, place the cork back in the bottle and their boss be none the wiser.

So other than being able to sneak wine if you are a butler, does the Ah So provide any benefits over other cork removal devices? What the Ah So specializes in is the removal of corks that are brittle and old that may break apart when the auger of a traditional corkscrew penetrates it. The Ah So works by the two prongs sliding down in between the cork and the bottle, and then by pulling straight up and twisting at the same time, the cork slides right out. Another useful trick this wine opener can help out with is if a cork does break in half, the Ah So can help get that last little piece out versus pushing it down into the wine.

I have only used my Ah So a couple of times and it is very tricky. I could never see using it on a regular basis but for corks that are impossible to penetrate or too brittle to work with I think this is your tool. Plus a wine geek’s bottle opener collection is not complete without one.

Cheers




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Categories: ah so, wine education, wine openers | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Ah So What the Heck is That?

  1. Interesting! Taster B has one of those. I tried working with it once and had a devil of a time. I have seen Taster B’s dad work it with great aplomb. I think it takes practice. My “Old Reliable” has a helix rather than an auger. I’ve busted too many corks with augers. The other advantage is that the last time I checked http://www.tsa.gov, you could bring a corkscrew on a plane. I think that would exclude a waiter’s friend.

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  3. Dave

    I’ve used the Ah-So for over twenty years, when I was a full time waiter. Once you get the hang of it, this puller is preferable to any other. It’s the only one that removes the cork without gouging a hole in it.

    My original is in storage, so I recently bought another one. I had forgotten that it works a bit tightly when you get it—you need to rub a small bit of oil (even vegetable oil) on the prongs and wipe with a paper towel before use. Once that’s done, it works amazingly well.

    I’ve used almost every kind of cork puller there is—I really think this one’s the best if you give it a try after oiling.

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