Most wine lovers have been in situations where they have a bottle of their favorite wine with them at a social gathering, on the beach, by the pool, or cruising on a boat, only to discover that they can’t open it because they don’t have a corkscrew to remove the cork. There are several methods for opening a wine bottle without using a corkscrew. To press the cork down, you can use ordinary tools like a wire hanger, a key, scissors, or even a wooden spoon.
Take comfort in knowing that you may safely perform these tested and proven methods in the privacy of your own home before you start wasting that wine out of frustration. This article discusses several methods for opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew and offers a few suggestions for avoiding the problem in the future.
12 Ways To Open A Wine Bottle Without A Corkscrew
1. Hammer and screw method
With a screwdriver, screw, and hammer, you can open a bottle of wine as long as you have a toolbox. Insert the screw into the cork, then tighten it with the screwdriver. Leave about an inch of the screw to protrude from the cork. Then take your hammer and remove both the cork and the screw out of the bottle using the end of the hammer (not the head). It’s preferable to use larger screws with large threads for this.
2. The shoe method
This works best with a shoe that has a higher profile to reach your ankle, as well as a shoe with a raised sole. A good example is a leather loafer that a male may wear to work. Before you put the cork in your shoe, make sure it’s free of any wrapping. Smack the shoe against a sturdy wall a few times while holding the shoe to the bottom of the bottle. The cork will gradually inch out, and you will be able to ease it out. It will fire out in a burst of wine, causing the bottle to foam and open up.
3. Push it with a wooden spoon
In comparison to some of the methods on this list, this one is rather safe to perform, although it does have some drawbacks. To open the bottle, push the cork down into the bottle using the handle of a wooden spoon (or something similar). Unfortunately, after you’ve pushed the cork into the bottle, it’s quite impossible to get it out. Furthermore, if the wine bottle is old, the cork may shed and crumble into the wine after being pushed in. While this isn’t ideal, there’s no reason to be concerned if you’re drinking the entire bottle with friends. Just use a strainer and pour the bottle of wine through it into a decanter to remove the cork pieces.
4. Use a blowtorch or a lighter
If you happen to have a blowtorch stashed somewhere, that might do the work. Remember to put on your safety glasses and a suit! Also, and this is critical, make sure the wine bottle is not cold, since rapid temperature changes could cause it to explode. Putting the bottle on a table is a good idea (do not hold it). Turn on the blow torch and move the flame around the neck of the bottle from a distance of several inches while rotating the bottle. For about a minute, keep the heat on that spot. Keep a safe distance from the cork, since it may pop out with force. If that sounds like too much “Wild Science,” you can use a lighter instead, however, it will take longer to accomplish the desired result.
5. Hook and pen method
You’ll need one of those screw-in wall hooks that are quite common in households for this trick. You might find one in a drawer, or you might be able to borrow one off the wall by unscrewing it. The method involves screwing the hook into the cork, then inserting a pen through the hook and using the pen as a grip. The cork can then be pulled out using a method similar to a standard corkscrew.
6. Use a wall to pop it loose
If you’re desperate and don’t have any tools, wrap the bottle in a towel and smack it open. Wrap the towel around the bottle of wine, making sure both the sides and the bottom are covered. Using a horizontal motion, smash the bottle’s base against a wall in a rhythmic manner. Repeat until the cork starts to pull away from the bottle, then pull it out. You can use anything from a brick wall to a coffee table as long as the surface is stable. Simply ensure that the bottle is well-cushioned by the cloth, or you risk a shattered mess.
7. Use a wire hanger
This method is simple, but it requires you to say goodbye to one of your wire hangers, which will no longer be used to hang clothes. First, bend the hanger’s tip back about 30 degrees; if done correctly, it will resemble a fish hook. Then, alongside the cork, slide the wire down into the sealed wine bottle. Turn the wire 90 degrees so the hook will be hidden beneath the cork. Simply pull the wire up to release the cork. If the hanger appears to be trapped, use pliers or other household objects to pull it free. Just remember to protect yourself with a towel or gloves.
8. No spare hanger? Use paperclips
If destroying a perfectly excellent hanger isn’t an option, paper clips can do the job. It’s the same idea as the hanger, but this one requires a little more skill. Partially straighten two paper clips in the middle. Don’t straighten both ends of the U shapes. Slide one between the cork and the bottle’s side, then repeat on the other side of the cork. Push the U-shape down until it’s below the cork. To arrange the U-shapes beneath the cork, rotate the clip. Outside the bottle, join the two other U-shapes. A pencil can be inserted under the hooks, or they can be tied together in a tight knot. Pull the clips up slowly, making sure the cork follows. Pull it up and twist it a few times.
9. Knife or key method
Put a key in the cork; it may be your house key or your car key, whatever you have on hand. To get the most out of it, insert it at a 45-degree angle. The cork will gradually unscrew as you twist the bottle and pull carefully. Inserting a knife instead of a key is an alternative to this technique, but it requires extra caution because it is possibly more harmful. It’s not a good idea to try it if you’ve already had a glass of wine!
10. Bike pump method
This one involves some amazing science, but it’s pretty simple. All you’ll need is a bicycle pump or any other air pump with a needle. Plunge the needle through the cork until it reaches the space between the cork and the wine. Then gradually inflate the bottle with air. The cork should progressively slide out of the bottle due to the air pressure as you pump. Due to the pressure from the pump, the cork may pop out forcefully and quickly.
11. Knot and string method
For this method, you’ll need a screwdriver or another long thin metal object, as well as a thick piece of string or cord. To begin, use the screwdriver to cut a hole in the cork. Then tie a knot at the end of the string and use the screwdriver to push the knotted end down the hole. The cork can then be pulled out using the string. This approach needs a lot of physical power and effort. If all you have is a screwdriver and a piece of string, it’s worth a shot.
12. Heat it up
If you have a cheap bottle of wine and want to be ready for the winter, you can prepare some mulled wine with the proper mulling spices. Boil some water, remove it from the heat, and place the bottle inside. The cork will gradually emerge on its own. Dump the water and pour the wine into the pot after the bottle is open. Add your mulling spices and heat it. Simmer for a few minutes before serving.
These innovative methods on how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew will help you get past that last obstacle of drinking your favorite wine, whether it’s a true emergency or you’ve simply grown weary of using corkscrews. However, the majority of these solutions aren’t completely foolproof. So proceed with caution, as several of these methods risk breaking the cork and causing it to fall into the wine, chipping the wine bottle, or completely breaking the wine bottle. If you have an expensive or delicate wine that would break your heart if it was damaged in this method, we recommend you wait until you have a corkscrew. Nonetheless, in most other cases, these solutions can help lift you out of sadness and provide you with a happy wine-filled night.