Amy here. Today I'm going to talk about the different corkers you can use to bottle your wine. Texas Brewing Inc. carries all the styles that I bottled with: 2 different floor corkers and a double lever hand corker. Most wine equipment kits come with a hand corker, so let’s start with that one.
The Portuguese Double Lever Corker is pretty easy to use. I usually have my husband, Austin, help me when bottling so you can knock it out quicker with teamwork. One of us fills and the other one corks. With the double lever corker, you need to sit at a sturdy table or sit on the floor. Make sure you sanitize your bottles and corks beforehand to make the process go smoothly. Fill the sanitized wine bottle and then stick the cork in the corker. Then put the corker on the top of your filled bottle, making sure the bottle is in the center of the corker. Lower the levers all the way down until you feel the cork go all the way in, then raise the levers back up. The Portuguese Double Lever Corker puts a dent in your cork, so if you don't mind that, this type of hand corker is a great tool to use. Plus, the dent has no negative affect other than cosmetic. My only complaint is having to do it sitting down on the floor or at a table. I get nervous that bottle is going to fall over when using this type of corker, but I’ve never had an accident.
Next up is the Portuguese Floor Corker. This one is great because you can stand up the whole time your corking. You put your cork in the corker (there is a small pocket for it), then push down on the spring bottle holder, and line up your bottle underneath the cork. It is easy, as the bottle holder has a small ridge that lines up the bottle with the cork. Use the handle to push the cork all the way in and you will end up with a nice, flat cork in your wine bottle. This a great floor corker and very easy to use. I definitely recommend it, but if you’re looking for the ultimate corker, then look no further than the next corker.
This final version is the Italian Floor Corker. It is easily my favorite. It's taller than the Portuguese floor corker, and gives you more bottling options. You use it the same way you use the Portuguese floor corker, but you can cork 187ml, 375 ml, 750 ml, 1.5 liter wine bottles. It also has a wider base and feels more sturdy while in use. In addition to that versatility, there is a version of this corker that can cork sparkling wine bottles (aka, Champagne style) and Belgian beer bottles, due to its spring loader cork holder. This is a great floor corker. It’s definitely my favorite and the one that I highly recommend.
So, whichever corker you choose to go with, all are good options for packaging the wine you made at home. In my next blog, I’ll be discussing the corks themselves and the huge variety you have for bottling up that awesome homemade wine you have fermenting away at home. Thanks for reading!
A lover of a great wine or beer, Amy has visited numerous wineries and spent many years around zymurgists, including both beer and wine producers that range from pro to amateur. She is a contributing writer for our blog and a member of the Texas Brewing Inc. family.