When you decant a bottle of wine, the cork stopper that you pull out is only a fraction of its original size. This is because the cork was compressed before it was plunged into the wine bottle. Wine corks are pressed in this way in an attempt to get the optimum seal for aging the wine.
A standard size wine cork stopper is almost an inch in diameter–right around 15/16″. The standard 750ml wine bottle opening is 3/4″. This means the cork must be compressed before it will even fit in the opening. This is were the corker comes into play.
A wine bottle corker is basically a tool that allows you to cork wine bottles with little effort. It compresses and plunges the wine cork stopper into the wine bottle without tearing or mangling the cork–something you could not do on your own.
All three can cork a wine bottle equally well. Which one you should choose is mostly a question of batch size. The Gilda Hand-Held Corker works great for individuals bottling 20 or 30 bottles at a time.
For those of you who are bottling a little more at a time, you might want to consider a Floor-Model Corker or a Bench-Model Corker. These corkers are a little faster and can even handle a two-man team for very large jobs–one to load the bottle and one to load the cork stopper. Add any of these corkers to your wine making operation and you’ll become what’s know in my book as a real corker.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.