Before you even think about the food, drink and party poppers, the one thing that you really need to invest in to ensure your dinner party goes smoothly is a reliable corkscrew.

Here are the accessories that will get the wine flowing easily and won’t make it look like you’re wrestling with an imaginary assailant in the kitchen.

Joseph Joseph BarWise Corkscrew: £15, Joseph Joseph

It’s called a waiter’s friend for a reason and if you’ve got a large gathering planned where you’re going to need to open a lot of bottles then this lightweight, no-fuss update on the classic design is perfect. The angled handle means that once you’ve twisted the screw into the bottle, until there’s only one curl remaining, the cork will pop out in one smooth movement rather than needing to reposition the corkscrew, which is often the problem with the original waiter’s friend design.

The corkscrew also incorporates a foil cutter and a handy magnetic bottle top remover to make it even more versatile.

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Le Creuset Lever Corkscrew: £195, Le Creuset

Some very impressive ergonomic engineering is at work here. With one hand holding the handles that secure the bottle all you need to do is lever the cork free with the other hand. One, easy, down-up movement ensures a clean and effortless removal every time without any residue ending up in the bottle.

If you’ve got expensive tastes in wine, this will turn every opening into a ceremony a real corker.

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Alessi 'Alessandro M' Corkscrew: £26, Amazon

A corkscrew with character, this fun offering is not only well designed but fully functioning and you only have to put his “body” over the bottle to secure it and then twist his head round to get the cork out. Free-standing too, so it will brighten up any bar or kitchen countertop.

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Kikkerland Rose Wood Sparrow Corkscrew: £9.57, Amazon

The foil cutter and opener deals with natural and synthetic corks with ease and when it’s not unhinging your vino closures, the brand have put their own fun twist on the classic waiter’s friend design so that when it’s laid flat it resembles the bird in flight.

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Brabantia Classic Corkscrew: £8.75, Brabantia

The blown up design of the body and handle makes this a perfect choice for any one who struggles to use conventional corkscrews. Once you’ve used the built-in capsule cutter, the body centres the spiral in the cork and the large turning handle does the rest. Plus it’s easy to grip and use.

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John Lewis Winged Corkscrew: £6, John Lewis & Partners

Winged corkscrews have stood the test of time so you know that they’re not going to let you down when it comes to de-corking. This well crafted version of the classic design is fit-for-purpose requiring very little muscle to operate and ensures a clean pull on every outing.

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Le Creuset Activ-Ball Corkscrew: £70, Selfridges

As much of a work of art as it is a means of extracting corks, this black nickel opener is probably the most stylish way to free your wine from its bottle. And the "Activ-Ball" innovation means that all you have to do is wind the screw into the cork and keep turning to release it.

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OXO Vertical Lever Corkscrew: £45, Waitrose & Partners

This corkscrew has an ingenious mechanism that only requires two easy up-down motions to pull out any cork completely intact. The design includes a detachable foil cutter that slots into the handle and it comes with an interchangeable screw and backup so you can just switch it when the original point begins to blunt extending the life of the product.

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BarCraft Lazy Fish Corkscrew: £17, Divertimenti

If you’re sharing a meal with the kids then they’ll love this design, which adds some artistry to a classic mechanism. The sharp spiral skewers the wine closure and then all you have to do is pull on the large tail to release it and reveal the concertina that doubles as the fish skeleton.

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The verdict: Corkscrews

Just a minor design tweak to the handle has meant that the Joseph Joseph BarWise Corkscrew has improved the performance of the classic waiter’s friend making it effortless to use. Add to this the versatility of the bottle opener and the portability or a penknife and you have a premium product that’s great value and the most dependable decorker on test.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.