People may ask which of Tullio Campagnolo’s inventions are the most important; the quick release allowing gears to be changed more easily in the pre-derailleur days, or the Gran Sport (and later Record & Super Record) rear derailleurs … and the best way to debate anything, is over a fine bottle of wine.
While the Campagnolo vs. Shimano debate may never be decided, one area where Campagnolo definitely has the edge is with their Cavatappi or big corkscrew, inspired when old Tullio once again hurt his hand … this time in 1966 when opening a bottle of wine.
A self-centering telescopic bell positions the vermillion (the actual corkscrew) in the center of the cork, and the two levers draw out the cork easily and gently. No more broken corks leaving pieces floating in your wine from a poorly centered vermillion, no more wrenching the cork back and forth to get it out of the bottle. As befitting any tool created by the Italian master, the levers are affixed to the main body of the corkscrew with bolts derived from those used to attach chainrings to a Super Record crankset.
Quite simply, the Campagnolo Cavatappi is the best corkscrew ever made, and remained virtually unchanged until 2013, when it was updated; not to improve the way it works, but with new plating to ensure a top-quality, attractive, and even longer-lasting finish so that it retains its character for a lifetime.
All this, and 100% Made in Italy.
The Campagnolo Cavatappi can be found at (or ordered from) finer bike shops, as well as some mail-order outlets like Competitive Cyclist. MSRP is $250.00.