The history of port tongs

Port tongs were invented around the 18th century and were used mainly in Europe to open a fine old Vintage Port! Port tongs are used to remove a cork quickly. These metal tongs are heated up and applied to the neck of a bottle of port; then, they are removed and replaced by a damp cloth; this temperature change breaks off the upper neck and cork. This method eliminates the possibility of the cork crumbling and spoiling the port. There are no shards of glass if removed correctly, and the break has a clean, sharp edge.

Port tongs look Medieval in appearance yet offer a different, practical way to extract a cork in one piece! Some people consider using tongs an exciting way to serve a great bottle. Equally, a pair of tongs look extremely decorative on any wall! Adventurous Port wine drinkers will love port tongs.


How do I use port tongs?

This is a step-by-step guide on how to use port tongs in the home. It would be best if you only used port tongs after reading the manufacturer’s instructions, and they are not suitable for children.

  1. Stand the bottle of port in an upright position.
  2. Heat the pair of metal tongs. This can be achieved over a fire or equally using a kitchen blowtorch.
  3. Then remove from the heat when ready and use them to grip the neck of the bottle firmly for about 30-40 seconds. Rotate the tongs back and forth ever so slightly.
  4. Remove the tongs and apply or wrap a wet/damp cloth across the neck along the lines where the tongs touched. The temperature change will cause the neck to break/crack cleanly across. Hence the saying “crack a bottle open!” Carefully remove the top with the cloth.
  5. If there are any shards of glass, dispose of these responsibly.

Using port tongs eliminates the possibility of the cork crumbling whilst causing the slightest disturbance to the bottle, including any sediment. Port tongs are an ideal gift for port lovers or fans and make for an extra special present.

Where can I purchase Port tongs?

We proudly sell port tongs, available to order with fast UK delivery. These tongs are handmade in the UK and are the best way to open bottles of vintage port.