How to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew? Though this may sound impossible, it can actually be quite easy with the right methods. In this blog post, we’ll show you 10 different ways to do so.
Whether at home or on the go, you’ll never miss out on good times because you don’t have a corkscrew nearby. So, next time you want to sip wine with your friends, remember one of these methods, show off your skill, and be the hero that’ll release the wine from its glassy prison!
How to Open a Wine Bottle With a Screwdriver and a Hammer
Good wines usually come with corks. This is, in part, what gives them that unforgettable taste. Unlucky for us, those porous things are tightly fitted. So, in the absence of a corkscrew, it’s likely that you’ll need some alternative tools to release the corks from the bottles.
One of the hardcore ways to uncork a wine bottle without a corkscrew is with the use of a screwdriver and a hammer:
- Remove the foil or wax from the cork to expose the wine bottle (this will also be the first step for all other methods).
- Drive a big screw through the cork‘s top, leaving at least half an inch visible.
- Pull the cork out by hooking the forked end of your hammer around the top of the screw, gripping the bottle hard with your other hand. As you pull, keep in mind that twisting and wiggling it can ease the job.
Practical tip: Stop pulling with force as soon as you see that the cork is about to come off. Slow down, and take the cork out carefully so as not to make a mess.
How to Open a Wine Bottle With a Key
Wherever you are, you’re more likely to have a house key on your hands than a screwdriver, a screw, or a hammer. Believe it or not, this will suffice to open a corked wine bottle.
Keep in mind that this method might be more effective for synthetic than wooden wine corks.
Here’s how to use a key and get a wine bottle open without a corkscrew:
- Insert the tip of your key into the cork at a 45-degree angle, from the outer side of the cork toward the center. The key should be crossing the center at an angle.
- Push the key inside using your hand or a suitable tool until the teeth of the key are almost completely embedded in the cork.
- Once the key is securely in position, try moving it in a circular motion while lifting a little.
- You should see the cork starting to move a bit upward.
- Keep going with constant slow movements. Don’t force it to avoid crumbling the cork bits into your precious wine.
Use a Knife to Open Your Wine Without a Wine Opener
This method is remarkably similar to the key method described above.
For this method, you’ll need a sharp knife (preferably a non-foldable one) from your quality knife set (e.g., a steak knife):
- Insert the knife in the cork at an angle. Place the knife slightly off the cork‘s edge, and incline it toward the middle.
- Push it down, at least an inch into the cork, so you can have a firm grasp on it.
- Move the cork upward in a circular motion. Eventually, you’ll see the cork loosening up and starting to rise.
- Once the cork is slightly out, you can pull it out with your fingers.
Dig Your Scissors in to Remove a Cork Without a Corkscrew
- Separate the two blades of a pair of sturdy, sharp scissors by spreading them apart.
- Stab the cork of the wine with one of the scissor blades straight down through the cork.
- Then, twist and pull up little by little while using the other blade and handles as a handle.
- Eventually, the cork will pop free.
Ply a Wire Clothes Hanger to Uncork Your Wine
You can use this trick to uncork your wine without a corkscrew, but you’ll first need to say goodbye to one of your wire clothes hangers.
If you’re ok with that, grab the pliers from your toolbox and get started:
- Place the pliers on the top end of the hanger, and curve the tip backward about 30 degrees, creating a small hook in the fishhook shape.
- Then, push the wire alongside the cork until it passes all the way through (under the cork).
- Once inside the bottle, rotate the wire so that the curved tip is touching the cork.
- Now it’s time to pull it up and get the cork out.
How to Open a Wine Bottle With a Spoon
Using a regular spoon to open your wine might be tricky if the handle is very blunt or the wine cork is very sturdy. However, it can be done with little precision and patience:
- Force the handle into the cork at an angle of 45 degrees enough to get a good grip.
- Lay the bottle horizontally.
- Grab the spoon with one hand and hold it tightly.
- Try turning the bottle slowly and away from the spoon until the corkscrew gets loose.
Heat the Bottle With a Lighter to Uncork It
- Use a lighter to heat the neck of the bottle to remove a cork without a corkscrew. Place the flame just below the cork. The idea is to heat the air in this area. This will expand the air and push the cork upward.
- Rotate the lighter all around this area to make sure you’re heating the air from all sides. Do this for a minute or two, and you should see the cork starting to move upward and popping out.
You can also use a blowtorch to heat the air below the cork and release it.
Use a Bike Pump to Uncork the Wine Without a Corkscrew
This approach also works well with any manual pump equipped with a needle.
The procedure is simple — just pierce the cork with the pump needle and start pumping. The increasing air pressure will eventually pump out the cork enough for you to grab its outer end and pull it out by hand.
The Wooden Spoon Method
If you want to avoid spilling (i.e., cleaning wine stains from your carpet) at all costs, you can use this push-in method and try to open a wine bottle with a wooden spoon or another hygienic object with a long handle.
This approach works wonderfully with young wines or those with little or no sediment.
Here’s how to do it:
- Push the cork into the wine bottle using the handle of a wooden spoon, a screwdriver, or a similar object.
- Place a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or a strainer over the entrance of another container (e.g., bottle, glass, etc.).
- Slowly pour the wine into the second container, and the coffee filter will capture any loose cork bits and prevent them from getting into your wine.
Get a Cork Out of a Wine Bottle With a Shoe
Believe it or not, the shoe method works! You just need a shoe made of a sturdy material (leather or rubber work best).
- Protect the bottom of the bottle by wrapping it with a towel or a piece of cloth.
- Put the wrapped bottle into the shoe, bottom down at the heel side.
- Bang the shoe against a sturdy surface (e.g., a brick wall) with moderate force.
- After a while, the repeated hits should push the cork upwards enough for you to grab it and pull it out by hand.
Don’t slam the shoe too hard to avoid opening the bottle from the wrong end!
Since this method isn’t always 100% successful, we recommend using it only when all other options aren’t available.
How to Open a Wine Bottle With Just a Towel!
The towel wrapping method is similar to the shoe method, but instead of the shoe, you’ll be gently thumping the bottom of the bottle wrapped in a towel against the wall.
Repeat this carefully until you see the cork moving upwards. Once the cork is high enough to be grabbed by hand, pull it out. Alternatively, you can also use pliers.
We hope you found these wine-opening hacks helpful and that you managed to save the delicious wine from being wasted.
Memorizing some of the methods described above can be very useful, as it can help you prepare your wine-containing recipes without substituting wine or have a good time with your friends no matter where you are and whether you have a bottle opener at hand.
How to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew?
There are several approaches to getting rid of a cork standing in the way of wine tasting.
Essentially, you can do three things:
- Drive a sharp object into the cork and try to unscrew it or just pull it out by force (knife, scissors, a screw).
- Thump it free — although this works best for champagne, it can be done with non-sparkling wines as well. The towel and the shoe method belong here too.
- Push the cork from the inside out using a lighter, a bike pump, a string, or a clothes hanger.
Can you use a string to uncork a wine bottle without a corkscrew?
You can do it this way:
- Push the cork into the bottle using a pen, bolt, or any other long and blunt object.
- Get a piece of stiff, sturdy string or a shoelace and tie a knot on one end.
- Slide the knotted end of the string into the bottle and get the knot under the cork.
- Pull the string up, and voila! You can enjoy your wine!
What’s the easiest way to open your wine without an opener?
The easiest way to uncork a wine bottle is to push the cork in and then empty the whole bottle into another container. Use a strainer, filter, or cheesecloth to filter out any tiny bits of cork that ended up floating in the wine.
Using a lighter is also a pretty effortless way to get rid of a wine cork. However, you need to carefully follow the tips and instructions described in the guide above to do it the right way.
If this doesn’t work, you can always try other methods described above, showing you how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew in a quick and easy way.