With its impressive range of bespoke, high-end wine knives, Code38 could certainly be considered the world’s best wine knife producer. So why has this elegant, user-friendly, durable wine knife become the choice of the world’s leading sommeliers? We asked two of the best: Arvid Rosengren, who holds the title as Europe’s Best Sommelier, and Dustin Wilson MS – Wine Director at Eleven Madison Park NYC.
For Arvid, Code38 is the only wine knife he considers worthy of the job: “The corkscrew is not just a cool gadget for a professional sommelier. It is our primary tool and it needs to work every time. It’s the equivalent of a great Japanese knife for a chef. It needs to cut the foil neatly and pull the cork out in one piece without breaking or pushing it down into the wine, which can happen quite easily, especially when you're dealing with older bottles of wine.
“It’s the equivalent of a great Japanese knife for a chef.”
“For me, the Code38 has really pushed the envelope when it comes to corkscrews. It is sturdy, easy to keep sharp and extremely durable, which is important for someone who opens several thousands of bottles over the course of a year. I also like that it works flawlessly from day one, while other expensive corkscrews need to be worn a bit before they are flexible and easy to use (which also means that after a year of service, they usually have to be retired).”
Similarly, Dustin’s adoration of Code38 knives is down to its unwavering reliability: “The reason that the Code38 is my choice of tool is because, for one, it functions perfectly and smoothly every time – from the first pull to hundreds later. I open hundreds of wines a week – from mature Bordeaux and Burgundy to young Rieslings and everything in between – and I never have to think twice about the tool not performing up to an incredibly high standard. I also know that it is made with some of the best materials out there and has been designed with a high level of detail and functionality in mind, unlike so many other tools that I’ve used before. And lastly, it’s beautiful. I work in a dining room where our guests pay attention to every detail and I am proud to be opening wines in my dining room with a tool that is as attractive as this one.”
“I never have to think twice about the tool not performing up to an incredibly high standard.”
The entry-level Code38 Origine, which retails at $220, is formed and hand-finished in solid surgical-grade stainless steel with a glass blast textured chassis for extra strength. It features a long helix made in France and a tough un-serrated foil blade, designed to be sharpened, as required.
The Code38 Pro, which comes in at $295, is also formed in solid surgical-grade stainless steel and is hand-finished and textured, with a beautiful weight balance that feels just right in the hand. The Code38 Pro is also fitted with a long, low-friction TiCN helix made in France and a TiCN treated plain-edged foil blade that holds its sharpness for longer.
‘Sleek’, ‘elegant’ and ‘perfectly balanced’ are words and phrases that come to mind when admiring the Code38 Duel ($345). With a body formed in solid surgical-grade stainless steel (316 grade) it’s also bead-blasted to create a fine peened surface texture for optimum grip – which any credible sommelier will know is essential for well-executed service. What’s more, its TiCN coating gives it a refined finish that contrasts beautifully with the raw stainless steel bottom casing.
Top of the range, and coming in at $525, is the Code38 Stealth. Whilst it might be the most expensive Code38 model, it’s well worth the extra pennies. With its all-over black titanium TiCN finish, ultra-tough TiCN foil blade (exclusive to the 2013 edition) and a new high efficiency CT (conical-tapered) helix, the Code38 Stealth sets a new standard for the professional wine knife.
It’s quite refreshing to know that when you purchase a Code38 wine knife, you won’t just be buying another flimsy corkscrew that’s destined to fall apart in minutes, but, rather, making a life-long investment. Every Code38 professional wine knife carries a manufacturer’s lifetime international warranty covering any defects the product might have. And, if your Code38 wine knife does not give you ‘many years of dependable service’ as promised, then the team will repair or replace it with one of equal or greater value. Not a bad deal, really.
For more information, and to order any of the Code38 models online, visit code38.com