It was quite the thing to have about six years ago; so elegant and refined. Manufactured by Rogar of Richmond, Virginia, it is based on a 19th century patented design by Michael Redlinger. Its best characteristic is not how hoity-toity it looks, though. This device is simple, easy to use, and has multiple functions, too. Since I got mine, they are so popular that they have over doubled in price. A new one will set you back $155.00 before taxes and shipping.
I never will forget being told by my friend that she and her husband had to take one back. "It just wouldn't work. We tried three times and couldn't get the cork out." I almost bit my lip.
Turns out, they never read the instructions. You put the bottle in the clamp, grip with one hand, and raise the lever with your other hand. You release the lever, hold on to the bottle and release the clamp. The cork is out. Then you pull the lever back down, and the cork pops out into your hand. What THEY had done was open the bottle by raising the lever, and lowered the lever again. It removed the cork and re-corked the bottle in one smooth motion.
The opener drills the cork, stops rotating, and pulls either a plastic or natural cork smoothly out. You can put a cork in the clamp, drill and raise it, then push the cork into the same or another bottle. Re-corking is not a function I use very often ("leftover wine? What is that?"). I prefer a stopper.
The clamp easily goes around a bottle neck of any size. Magnums are as easily opened as a dessert wine bottle. Short little splits or long decorative bottles are opened with equal ease. If you wish, you can cut the foil before using the bottle opener, but if you don't, it will pull the cork right through it and you can peel it off after. It is the simplest opener I've ever used.
A nice walnut colored stand and a strong steel spine hold the moving equipment at a very nice height. If you choose, you can release the clamp and place the opener on a cabinet edge, but I have never needed that feature. If I were serving wine at a large gathering, I'd demand one of these just to save my energy and make sure I never pushed a cork into the bottle.
The beautiful light bronze finish is coated so all you ever have to do is wipe off any dust with a damp rag. The base and stand are varnished, too. I just adore simple devices that do what they are supposed to and are easy to maintain. This is one of those rare household items.