Friday, 4 June 2010

Le Atelier Du Vin's Bilame, and all Bilame's in general, a corkscrew that is legal to carry and convenient for air travel.

The Bilame is a little known device with a rich and long history, invented several hundred years ago, it was the 'secret waiters friend, rather than the knife and corkscrew arrangement used openly this would be something the butler or waiter would keep concealed and use only for his own purposes.  Essentially it is a corkscrew, the mechanism is different however, the two blades of the device slip down the side of a corkscrew in a side-to-side motion, allowing with a gentle twist the corkscrew to be removed from the bottle with absolutely no damage to the cork, thereby allowing the crafty waiter or butler to take either a few sips of the best wines, or the lot and refill it with a shoddy one, then return the cork undamaged to the bottle.

The thing that makes this particularly useful is, in this modern world in which we live, carrying anything that is sharp and pointy can cause an individual considerable inconvenience, in air travel any attempt to carry a corkscrew or small wine opener will result in this item being either confiscated, or the person flying will have to pay to have it sent home, additionally depending on the persons state of mind further complications can arise if the person is not sugary nice to the check-in staff.

And in many Jurisdictions, Particularly Here in the United Kingdom, carrying anything which has a concealed blade can cause considerable difficulties once again.  You may feel justified carrying Grandfathers Antique Laguiole knife and corkscrew to open a stray bottle of Pinot Noir you may come across, but try explaining that to a Police Officer, Carrying a bladed weapon or any type of blade can result in up to 5 years imprisonment!

Therefore the bilame is perfect, its innocuous shape, and blunt wine blades mean it can never be mistaken for anything other than perhaps an oversized pair of tweezers, and if and officials say at the airport do query it, then explaining  its purpose will usually interest them and the will facilitate your journey more speedily having taught them a new and interesting fact (caution: not guaranteed), additionally the actual application of using it with friends and loved ones is a real conversation starter.

Finally as if all this were not enough, Le Atelier Du Vin's version also incorporates a bottle opener, note the half moon shape at the top of the Bilame, this is the bottle opener.  Therefore the Bilame is not only practical, safe and interesting to use, it is multipurpose also.

NB: and incredibly inexpensive - the standard black version is £14, the limited edition chrome is only £30.

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