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THIERS Wine Opener by Hervé Pennequin

What makes this wine opener so special?

 

Hervé Pennequin, French-born and living in South East Asia since 2010, has been a professional sommelier since 1988. In 2004, he finished in third position in the Best Sommelier of the World competition, representing the United States (first time an American candidate finishes in the final three spots since 1969, first year of the competition).

In 1996, while working in Paris as Restaurant Manager for “Amphycles” (Two-Star Michelin), Hervé broke three of the Chateau Laguiole wine openers within a two-month period. The idea came to him to create a wine opener with a designer, Amplitude, and a handcraft manufacturer, Florinox, both located in the village of Thiers, to ensure dependability when using it. Since its creation, many sommeliers, worldwide but predominantly in The United States, have been using it. Each wine opener is handmade by M.O.F. (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) in knifemaking, the MOF is a title acquired by best handcrafters in their specialty, therefore knife making guaranteeing the excellence of the Thiers Wine Opener.

 

This fantastic wine opener follows knife making regulations dating back to 1582. The unique and sleek design helps the cork to be kept straight when opening a bottle avoiding cork breakage. The leverage also makes for smooth and easy opening without force on one’s wrist. A sommelier in Texas ordered a Thiers, years ago and since he has a weak wrist, he enjoyed it so much that he called Hervé to congratulate him on the design. This sommelier is still using the same Thiers today, showing durability on the long and hard usage of this indispensable tool.

The tapered screw guarantees a good grip on the dry side of the cork while the smaller part of the screw just pierces the cork without going through and breaking the wet side of the cork. So many screws today are so thick that they completely destroy the cork in the bottle.  

The Thiers wine opener is presented in two different handles: Ostrich Leather with Carbon Fiber, and Blond Horn. Each wine opener has a handmade finish thus sometimes creating a wait of a few weeks when an order is placed by a retail store.

The Thiers wine opener sells predominantly through the word of mouth. Each Thiers comes with a nice black leather holster that helps the user to carry it on the belt very elegantly in an elegant gift box.

What makes the Thiers wine opener even more special is that 80% of the Laguiole knives are made in the small village of Thiers. The Laguiole is not a patented brand and can be duplicated in Asia as most of the Laguiole knives are. The Thiers is patented and can only be handmade in the village of Thiers. 

The Thiers wine opener by Herve Pennequin was elected as the number ONE wine opener on the market in 2002 by Newsweek Magazine’s contributor Tara Weingartner (Screwpull #2, Chateau Laguiole #3).

 

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Spotted at:

The Thiers wine opener was also featured in the “Wine Spectator” magazine in 2000 through an article by Thomas Matthews that helped tremendously the introduction of this handcrafted wine tool.

Even Robert Parker acquired one that has been seen in an article during a photo shoot in his cellar.