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Packing corkscrew - are corks still used in France and Spain?

I’ve noticed that Rick recommends packing a corkscrew. Before I buy one I’m wondering if corks still common in France and Spain for white wine. Just asking because they aren’t really used in Australia any more, at least in the sort of wine you might buy from a mainstream bottle shop, hotel or supermarket chain. Except for sparkling wines which of course don’t need a corkscrew.

Posted by
22282 posts

Cork is still widely used in France and Spain. A corkscrew hardly takes up any room at all. Or buy one when you get there.

Posted by
37 posts

But, if you are only doing carry on and going through London, you get screened again. Our corkscrew caused us to go to secondary screening.

We now buy corkscrews wherever we go and do not carry them.

Obviously a 70 year old lady with a corkscrew didn’t look too scary, they let us keep it.

Posted by
1366 posts

Maybe it's Murphy's Law, but multiple times I've has a hard time finding corkscrews to buy when I've really wanted/needed them. I now fly with one in my checked bag.

Posted by
2031 posts

We always carry one in our checked bags. We have used them more than once on our travels and had to improvise in one instance when we didn’t have one with us.

Posted by
37 posts

If i checked a bag, 100% i would pack a corkscrew

Posted by
286 posts

There is a simple corkscrew that I bring in carry on luggage. Research the allowed corkscrew design. Also, we find many hotels will open your wine. Many wine bottles bought in simple local stores have screw tops.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks everyone. We will be checking luggage and will pack a corkscrew.

Posted by
12275 posts

I would be surprised that any hotel/B & B/Air B&B in either France or Spain didn't have a corkscrew you could use or they could open your bottle for you.

But if you're checking a bag, take one you like.

Posted by
4915 posts

Most wine bottles in France and Spain still use corks.

Posted by
14 posts

We stayed at La Locanda in Volterra on our Heart of Italy tour in October. When I went to the front desk to ask to borrow a corkscrew, the very nice lady working there not only brought me a corkscrew, she went to get four wine glasses for our party of four. She said the wine would taste better in glass and not the plastic cups in the room. Most hotels either will lend you a corkscrew or have one in the small refrigerators in the room.

Posted by
141 posts

Just got back from Europe, all the AirBnB's had corkscrews. With that said, I typically pack a corkscrew in checked baggage.

Posted by
6389 posts

I have a completely plastic corkscrew (it does have a small metal plate as an edge in a bottle opener though) that I have carried in my carry-on bag for going on 20 years, with no issues. Many places you stay will have an opener, or will open wine for you...but I have had to use mine more than once and a while, so it is handy.

Can't speak for Australian carriers, but in the US, TSA generally will allow a corkscrew in carry-on, even specifically stating that they are OK. In Europe however. they qualify as a sharp object, and likely would not make it through screening (actually, they specifically mention corkscrews as an example of a sharp object).

If you enjoy wine, pack one in your checked bag, or buy a modest one there...or a nice one to check on the way home.

Posted by
5423 posts

Terry, we had the same experience at the Aberdeen in Rome a few years ago.

We've had to surrender a corkscrew at the airport in, I think, Barcelona. We did manage to get one through security this year, but not on purpose. My "personal item" was a bag we had used on a camping trip, with a tiny pocket on the side just the right size for a corkscrew! Either the personnel at the airport missed it, or just didn't care.

We were very surprised to find screw cap wine in France this year, but most bottles are corked.

Posted by
13894 posts

It may depend on what kind of corkscrew you want to take.

A regular “waiter’s”:corkscrew, like #2 on this list, has a blade and is a no-go even with TSA. (We lost ours last month at Sea-Tac on our way to California because I packed our picnic kit in the carry-on, forgetting that it was in there).

But according tomTSA rules ( which do not apply at European airports, of course, a corkscrew without a blade is OK. Soma “no blade” waiter’s corkscrew like #4 on this list should be OK in the US, and you could take it if you are on a direct flight with no connections at a European airport.

https://www.winemag.com/2021/06/21/best-corkscrews-wine-keys-according-wine-professionals/

Then there is the simple pocket corkscrew with no lever or blade, just the plain corkscrew that slips into a case that doubles as a handle for pulling the cork. I thought these were OK even at European airports and the type suggested by Rick, but maybe that is wrong.

https://www.amazon.com/Pocket-Corkscrew-MBW-NW-Brands/dp/B01C856CXS/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=tsa+approved+corkscrew&qid=1668099825&sr=8-6

Posted by
3907 posts

I recall “surrendering” a corkscrew years ago because I forgot it was in my personal carry on bag. Our favorite dependable corkscrew for home & travel is the “Waiter’s Style.” We have the Trudeau Turbo stainless steel. It has a serrated blade that works great. We’ve had it for years. It retails for less than $20. Funny thing- our favorite Walla Walla Wine Club wine has a screw cap. ;)

Posted by
1989 posts

hey hey ethel
us friends always pack a corkscrew and a bottle of wine in checked bag. it's a celebration we made it and time to start the party!!
aloha

Posted by
22282 posts

I have packed wine coming home but never going over. One year we did lose one of the bottles coming home so were glad our clothes could go straight to the washer on returning.

Posted by
3907 posts

@Carlos- and don’t forget “En-garde” and watch out for shards before pouring. LOL.

Posted by
3005 posts

@Janis - I'm a Sabre and Épée fencer myself but never had a chance to use them to open champagne haha

Posted by
22282 posts

We have a ritual each Christmas at a local hotel that builds a tree of glasses and someone uses a saber to open the first bottle. Hasn't missed in years. Great fun. Somehow I think there is a trick to do it.

Posted by
2277 posts

Corkscrews without a foil cutter knife are allowed in your carry-on in the United States. When I’m returning home if I’m doing carry-on, I just leave my corkscrew because it’s not worth the hassle.

If one of the thousand standing around in the US attempts to give me a hard time about my corkscrew I smile nicely and ask for a supervisor. I had one “agent “ tell me he could now strip search me because I had a corkscrew. Smiled nicely asked for his supervisor. He said oh you can go this time. I just smiled and replied I want to talk to your supervisor. when the supervisor came up, I let him have it. I suggested he train Mr. jerk, and that nothing gave Mr. jerk the right to strip search someone over a corkscrew ( I don’t take much from the thousands standing around playing let’s make up a rule. I don’t get into a fight with them, but I also do not let them abuse me. And if they start, I just smile and ask for their supervisor. And I do not leave the security area until I have talked to the supervisor. They hate it. Wonder why?)

Posted by
221 posts

The hardest part on carry-on only travel for me is leaving my “picnicker” knives at home. I have several with a small blade for cheese and salami, a corkscrew and a bottle opener. They are as essential as socks for me while in Europe. This is literally the only reason I check a bag.