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Advanced Wine Search

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew

Learn how to open wine with these clever ideas.

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew
How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew

Surprise. Anger. Thirst. Wishing you'd bought wine with a screw cap.

These are just some of the stages of having wine, but no corkscrew. It happens to all of us. We travel, go on picnics, or move into a new place, and realize we remembered to buy wine, but forgot a corkscrew. What's a wine lover to do? Skip the frantic internet search and read our creative tricks for opening your wine.

We've compiled a list of the internet's best ways to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. All of the methods use simple tools, like your shoes, to pry the cork out of those stubborn bottles of wine. Try the option that seems most feasible for you. We recommend finding a friend to help you, and remember to be safe!

If you do have a corkscrew, then opening a wine bottle is very simple. Here are some instructions:

First, remove the foil. Then, place your corkscrew slightly off center and twist it into the cork. Stop twisting when one curl of the corkscrew is still exposed. Use the corkscrew to pry the cork halfway out of the bottle. Usually the lever on the corkscrew will only pull the cork about two thirds of the way out, and that's fine.  You can gently tug on the corkscrew to ease the cork out of the bottle manually. Easy!

Now, here are some very creative ways to open a bottle of wine.

Four Ways to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew

Method 1: Wall + Shoes

Remove the wrap from the wine bottle, and then remove one of your shoes. Place the base of the wine bottle in the heel of the shoe. Firmly hold the wine bottle in the heel of the shoe and then pound the base of the shoe against a sturdy wall. As you pound the cushioned bottle against the wall, the cork will be tapped out. Once the cork is far enough out for you to grab it, pull on the cork to finish removing it.

See how to open a bottle of wine with your shoes here.

Alternates: You can also use a towel or a book to cushion the base of the wine bottle, instead of your shoe.

Method 2: Screw + Screwdriver + Hammer

As with all of these methods, remove the wrap or foil from the wine bottle. Drive a screw straight down into the middle of the cork cork using a screwdriver. Leave half an inch of the screw out. Then, use the claw of a hammer to pry out the cork, as you would pry up a nail. See it done here.

Method 3: House Key + Strong Hands

This method requires only a house key and a fair amount of hand strength. Drive a house key into the cork by starting at the edge of the cork and working in at a 45 degree angle. Wiggle the key into the cork until the teeth are all the way into the cork. Then, use the key to twist and pull up on the cork, pulling it out of the wine bottle. See it done here.

Method 4: Screw Hook + Wooden Spoon

If you have a screw hook around, then this is a nearly perfect tool to create a makeshift wine opener. Simply twist the screw portion of the screw hook into the cork of the wine. Then use the thin handle of a wooden spoon as leverage to gently pull up on the hook until the cork comes free. See it done here. This version successfully uses an ink pen in place of a wooden spoon, but we worry about the pen breaking.

There are many more methods for how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. However, we think these are the best (and safest) ways to open a stubborn wine bottle. Cheers!

Have you ever had to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew? Share your stories in the comments below!

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My friend and I went camping and we took a couple of bottles of her dad's homemade wine with us (so good, guaranteed to never give you a hangover) but you know what we forgot? A corkscrew! (and yet somehow, we remembered a small French press for coffee in the morning) I really wish we had this article on hand to help us. Instead, we shoved the cork into the bottle with a fork and were "forced" to drink the whole bottle. What a great trip.

This is super handy! I will definitely be bookmarking this page for future wine emergencies :)


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