How To Open A Wine Bottle Without A Corkscrew – 10 Easy Ways

I have been inspired to write this article after my experience of staying in a hotel with no room service or appliances in our room, let alone wine glasses. The hotel was unhospitable and did not even want to help when we asked at the reception. It was nearly 11 pm, and it seemed we had to get innovative!

What is the best way to open a wine bottle when you don’t have a corkscrew? My experience on that fateful evening was using the heel of one of my shoes, then pushing the cork inside the neck of the bottle, and voila – your wine bottle is ready! Stay classy…

In every wine shop, customers have two options: Pick a bottle with a cork closure which is a romantic choice but one that takes more effort to open, or go for that screw cap to make it easier to access. If you choose the first alternative, only to discover the corkscrew appears absent, there’s nothing to worry about. There are more methods to open bottles of wine than to close them.

Before trying any of these tips, this method isn’t foolproof 100% of the time. Be cautious since a number of these ways have the potential of breaking the cork, causing it to fall onto the wine, damaging the bottle of wine, or in a worst-case scenario, smashing the bottle of wine completely.

If you own an expensive or rare wine that will cause heartbreak if broken during this process, it is recommended to hold off until you have an appropriate corkscrew. However, in many other situations, these alternatives could help you overcome despair and provide an enjoyable night of wine.

Guide To How You Can Open A Wine bottle Without A Corkscrew

You are best trying these techniques on a cheaper bottle of wine as you may find leftover cork debris in the wine, which isn’t exactly a pleasant taste.

The best ways to get a wine bottle open without a corkscrew are as follows:

1. Use a Screw (the Longer the Better), a Screwdriver, and a Hammer

It’s probably one of the safest options we have listed. However, it requires some resiliency and strength as it could cause fatigue. It is as simple as taking an appropriate screw (preferably a long one) and inserting it through the cork using a screwdriver until there’s approximately an inch or so remaining. After that, you simply take the back side of the hammer and lock it inside the screw and then pull the cork away. It is also possible to use an ointment to clean your forehead when the job is done.

2. Push the Cork in With the Handle of a Wooden Spoon, or Any Blunt Object Similar in Size

This is also a secure method compared to these methods on this list. However, it comes with its drawbacks. To open the wine bottle, use your wooden spoon’s handle (or another similar item) and press the cork downwards into the wine bottle. However, pulling the cork from the bottle is almost impossible after pushing it in. Additionally, If the wine bottle is older, the cork might break and fall into the wine after it is put in. Although this isn’t an optimal outcome, if you have a gathering with other friends and plan to consume the entire bottle, there’s no need to be concerned. Use a strainer to pour the wine bottle over it in a decanter, removing the cork fragments.

3. Hook It With a Hanger

This is a relatively simple method; however, it requires you to say goodbye to the hangers you made with wire because you’ll probably never use them for hanging clothes. The first step is to bend the top of the hanger 30 degrees to the back. It will look like an eel hook if you’ve done it correctly. Then, you can put the wire in the wine bottle sealed next to the cork. Then, rotate it 90° to ensure you have the wire beneath the cork. Just pull the wire upwards, and the cork will let go. Pliers and other household items can be used to pull at the hanger in case it appears stuck. Be sure to wear gloves or a towel for security.

4. Pump It Out

It’s really easy. Use a bike pump with a needle on it it. Then, you can plunge it through the cork, piercing to the point that the needle gets to the air space between the cork and wine. Then, you can pump air through the bottle. When you pump, the cork will gradually move out of the bottle due to the pressure of the air.

5. Twist It Out With Keys Or A Serrated Knife

This technique is like the first, using the hammer and screw to pull off the cork. The difference is that this time it is a matter of putting your key or sharp knife through the cork at a 45-degree angle. Then, move the cork’s top in a circular motion, making the cork twist out slowly. After a few turns and the cork should be able to come out. Be sure to put your object in the cork because If you don’t, the cork will break and fall off.

6. Wrap The Bottle With A Towel & Use the Wall to Smack It Out

Be aware of this place on the list where things become slightly risky. The first two options require, at the very least, one tool. However, this could be the best option if you have few resources. Wrap your bottom bottle with a towel’s thickness (or two towels to ensure safety), then bang it against the wall several times. If you try this, the bottle could be damaged, so make it a last resort. The cork won’t come from the bottle when you first smash into the wall. Therefore, we advise against hitting it with all your strength. Instead, lightly pound the wall with the bottle repeatedly, gradually moving the cork off.

7. Slap It Out With A Shoe

This is similar to what was used in the past. However, it’s safer. Cover the top of the wine bottle in a towel, but instead of smashing it into the wall, just place it upside-down between your legs and slap it with your shoe. It could take quite a long time, but it’s more secure than option 6. Be sure to stop before the cork has come out, or else you’ll find a little mess and permanent stains.

8. Apply Heat To Move The Cork Out

This method is a bit off the mark, but it can be effective. Utilizing a lighter or blowtorch, use heat on your wine bottle’s neck, just beneath the cork. The heat should cause the cork upwards and then from the bottle. But, ensure that the bottle isn’t cold; otherwise, it might burst due to the rapid increase in temperature. If the bottle has been refrigerated, allow it to rest in a warm environment before applying heat.

9. Twist It Out Using Scissors

This is a simple method of breaking the bottle using only the household items you’ll probably have in your house. Then, push one of the scissors into the middle of the bottle. Be careful not to hurt yourself! After the blade has been fully inserted, slowly turn both handles. While twisting, pull upwards until you have pulled the cork removed from the bottle.

10. Pull The Cork By Pulling A String

All craft enthusiasts: It’s your chance to shine. This method explores if you’re stuck and possess a toolbox. It uses strings to extract the cork.

Utilizing a screwdriver, create a hole in the cork. This may require a bit of elbow grease! After you’ve finished, you can tie a knot at the other part of the string. Then pull the knot through the cork using a screwdriver. When the knot is on the other side, the cork will be capable of being pulled away without difficulty.

The cork’s pieces broken up could be absorbed in the bottle, making the perfect bottle of wine. As with the push system, you just need to strain the wine and pour it into a decanter before drinking.

Other Questions Asked

How do you get a cork out without a corkscrew with a lighter?

The idea is to heat the air beneath the cork. This causes the air to expand and push the cork upward. Rotate the placement of the lighter around the bottle’s neck to ensure you’re heating all the air. You’ll see the cork creeping upwards and out in a minute or two.

How do you get a wine cork out?

Put a pan of water onto a boil. Take the pan off the heat once the water has begun to boil. Place the bottle of wine (having removed the foil cover) into the hot water and wait for the cork to slide out of the bottle.

Can you open wine with scissors?

Open a pair of scissors so that the two blades are spread apart. Stab one blade straight down into the cork. Gripping the scissors where the two blades meet, twisting the cork out, pulling up a little until it pops free.

How do you push a cork into a wine bottle?

The idea is to push the cork into the bottle using the blunt tip of a screwdriver, butter knife, etc. Simply stand your blunt instrument straight up atop the cork and slowly hammer it in with the palm of your hand.

Can I open a wine bottle with a straightener?

Yes, surprisingly, you can hold the heat of the hair straighteners around the neck of the wine, which will slowly push the cork up enough to allow you to pull it out with your hands!

Did you find this guide helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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