Is The Rabbit wine opener any good?
December 15, 2003 8:15 PM   Subscribe

So I've been struggling with the christmas present issue - What to get for my parents? I've decided on a Rabbit wine opener, but it has mixed reviews. Does anyone have this device or an equivalent wine tool?
posted by elwoodwiles to Shopping (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Fooey on screws. You'll pry my Ah So from my cold, dead hands.
posted by majick at 8:20 PM on December 15, 2003

As a former waiter, I can tell you that unless your parents are gadget freaks, skip the rabbit. I love the Ah So, it always gets a look, and gets out troublesome corks wth ease.

You'd also do well to just get the classic wine key (or a slightly fancier set).

Do they have a decanter? Riedel is the mercedes of wine accessories. There's a style of glass for every grape -- and in many cases it does make a difference.

I bet they wouldn't say no to a Wine Advocate or Wine Spectator subscription either. In fact, the Top 100 issue of the Spectator is out now -- to really impress them, get the magazine and one of the top bottles on the list (if you can manage it).
posted by o2b at 9:06 PM on December 15, 2003

*shrug* My dad likes his rabbit. He's a bit of a wine nut ... but I'm bringing him over to dark beers slowly but surely. ;)
posted by SpecialK at 9:27 PM on December 15, 2003

I'm not super into wine, and as a result I've been historically bad with corkscrews and Ah Sos and so far I love my rabbit. Not a single lost cork in a year of service.

I got two of them last year though, and I suspect there will be more this year.
posted by mathowie at 9:45 PM on December 15, 2003

Rabbits are overkill (and overpriced.) I have three corkscrews, and use them for various applications. The one I use the most is the Screwpull table model. It's simple, but excellent. The worm (the pointy curly thingy) is super-long (I think 5") and Teflon-coated. It doesn't mangle the cork, and it successfully extracts about 95% of the corks.

For those it can't get, I use the Ah So.

If the cork breaks, I use a waiter's corkscrew -- the kind with the short fold-out worm, fold-out bottle opener, and often a little knife blade to cut the capsule. For a normal cork, insert the worm as far as possible, then fold the bottle-opener thingy down so the cutout on its tip rests on the bottle's rim. Then use lever action to pop the cork. For broken corks, insert the worm at a forty-five degree angle and use the lever to pop the cork. It works just about every time.
posted by Vidiot at 9:55 PM on December 15, 2003

I've used various things during the three years I've worked in the wine industry, including the rabbit. It's easy to use, but in my opinion nothing special considering the price.

I'm still loyal to my double-action waiters friend (similar to the waiters corkscrew mentioned by vidiot): teflon coated corkscrew, serrated knife for the capsule, and best of all, two levers connected by a hinge. Using both levers, it's practically impossible to break the cork - something I've still seen people manage to do with the rabbit.

The only downside is that it takes a bit of concentration the first few times - it requires a counter-intuitive movement. But after that, it's the easiest thing ever. Plus, fits in your pocket.
posted by hot soup girl at 1:49 AM on December 16, 2003

if you're looking for other wine-related gifts, may I suggest those pump & stopper sets? we love wine, but since there's only two of us, we rarely finish a bottle in a week, and by then the wine has changed flavor. The pump sucks the air out of the bottle through an opening in the stopper and keeps the wine 'fresher' longer. Think of it like a zip-loc for your wine :)
posted by j at 6:21 AM on December 16, 2003

We have one of these bad daddies and LOVE it. Of course it helps to have a place to mount it. Ours is on our kitchen island.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:41 AM on December 16, 2003

I like my rabbit, someone gave my brother a rabbit knock-off and it sucked though - very poorly constructed and just flat out didn't work most of the time. Mine's always worked great though. Recommended.
posted by soplerfo at 7:57 AM on December 16, 2003

I have wrist and hand problems so I love Cork Pops - always my first choice. Some synthetic corks leak back past the needle though, so then I call on Rescue Rabbit.
posted by cairnish at 8:44 AM on December 16, 2003

My parents have a Rabbit and they really like it. I am an ex-waitress so I'm perfectly content to fight with a waiter's corkscrew, but I wouldn't force my aging parents to pick up that particular skill set this late in life.

The thing that a rabbit has all over a waiter's corkscrew as a gift is that the Rabbit is a nicely boxed, hefty, just pricey enough gift whereas a waiter's corkscrew will make you look like a cheap, ungrateful child. As some one who can identify with the pain of finding a nice gift for hard-to-buy-for parents, I advocate the Rabbit as the solution to your holiday dilemma.
posted by jennyb at 9:06 AM on December 16, 2003

But really, what do you get for parents? My mother has an amazon wishlist, but my dad is not so saavy, and really has few interests besides long-distance biking. What the hell am I going to get the man?
posted by Hackworth at 9:31 AM on December 16, 2003

Hackworth: A trip to see the Tour de France!
posted by gyc at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2003

Hackworth: a Leatherman. :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 AM on December 16, 2003

Hackworth: Baggins Bags by Rivendell Bicycle Works. Schmidt Dynohub and Lumotec lights from Peter White Cycles.
posted by xiffix at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2003

The perfect combination of cycling and wine - a Campagnolo corkscrew
posted by Icky at 12:15 PM on December 16, 2003

Response by poster: thanks everyone, there are many good suggestions here. I am leaning toward buying the rabbit because my mother would have difficulty with a wine-key. I am also an ex-waiter and a current wine geek so often my ideas about wine (French) do not always mesh with my parents (oaky California wines.) I don't need the proper way to open wine, but the easiest. Jennyb also makes great points about the appearance of the gift that resonate quite deeply.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2003

woah, disc brakes for bikes? will wonders never cease.

actually, after a secret emailing with mom, i think i might get him a big slab of smoked salmon. odds are, he'll let me eat half of it ;)
posted by Hackworth at 12:27 PM on December 16, 2003

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