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How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew: 8 Ways to Crack Open a Bottle

There will come a time in every wine lover’s life when they’ll be stuck with the conundrum of how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. But, don’t worry; we’ve all been there

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew

Whether you’re taking a bottle of wine over to a friend’s place, out and about for a romantic picnic, or simply anywhere that doesn’t have a fully stocked kitchen, you’ll most likely have to come up with some creative ways to remove the cork.

Lucky for you, this problem isn’t a new one, and people have been coming up with ways to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew for centuries. 

So, if you’re sitting staring at your bottle of wine, saddened by the fact you can’t remove the cork, keep on reading. You’ll be sipping on a glass and thanking us in no time.

8 Unique Ways to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a corkscrew

It can be easy to become despondent when you need to open a wine bottle and find yourself sans opener. However, help is at hand.

Plenty of Creative Ways to Open Wine

We’ve got some of the best tips on how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew, so keep reading, and you will be sipping merlot with your friends before you know it.

1. Use a Screwdriver, Screw, and Hammer

Make Sure to be Gentle When Using a Hammer

One of the simplest and safest ways to open a bottle of wine sans corkscrew is the screw, screwdriver, and hammer method. 

Be warned, this method will take some upper body strength, but it’ll be well worth it. 

Take your screw (ideally the longest you can find) and screw it into the cork with the screwdriver. You want to leave about an inch of the screw out of the cork before continuing onto the next step. 

Next, take the backside of your hammer (the claw-looking part) and gently pull the cork out from the bottle. Doing this process quickly could result in the cork breaking and ruining the wine. Always remember, slow and steady wins the race.

2. Push the Cork Into the Bottle

It's a Valid Option to Push the Cork into the bottle
via Winerox

The wooden spoon method is another relatively safe method for opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew. 

You’ll need a wooden spoon or something similar in size, a secondary container, and a coffee filter or strainer for this one. 

Take the handle of the wooden spoon and push the cork down until it falls into the bottle. Once the cork is in the bottle, there is no way of getting it out, so only choose this method if you plan on finishing the entire bottle of wine. 

A problem you may encounter when using the push method is that the cork could crumble when pushed into the bottle. That’s where the strainer comes in. Slowly pour the wine into your secondary container, using the strainer to catch the cork pieces.

3. Use a Wire Hanger

Create a Hook to Pull the Cork

Now the creativity of how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew kicks in. Unfortunately, you’ll need to part with one of your wire hangers for this one. The choice of a wire hanger or a bottle of wine is a bit of a no-brainer though, so goodbye hanger. 

There are actually two ways to remove a cork like this, so we’ll mention both in case one doesn’t work for you. 

Fishing for Cork

First, you need to bend the tip of the hanger (the part that hooks over the bar in your closet) backward roughly 30 degrees. The tip should now look like a fishhook. 

Next, slide the wire down into the bottle, between the wall of the bottle and the cork. Rotate the wire, so the hook is underneath the cork, and pull the wire up. If you aren’t strong enough to pull the wire, try using pliers or something similar. 

DIY Corkscrew

The second way to remove the cork with a wire hanger is to create a makeshift corkscrew with the wire. Wind the hanger around a cylindrical shape. Once completed, it should look like the metal part of a regular corkscrew.

Insert and screw into the cork as you usually would and pull the cork out of the wine bottle. As the hanger doesn’t have a comfortable handle, you should wrap a towel around it for better grip. 

4. Twist It Out With a Set of Keys or a Serrated Knife

Use a Key to Get Into Your Wine

If you have a set of keys or a serrated knife to hand, you can use these make sure the wine keeps flowing wherever you are. 

Take your knife or key and insert it into the cork at a 45-degree angle. Once you’ve inserted the key or knife, rotate it in a circle to twist the cork from the neck of the bottle. The cork should eventually come out after a few rotations. 

If you don’t insert your key or knife enough, the cork could crumble into the bottle, so try to take your time and make sure you really get your object in there.

5. Use a Shoe

Yes, You Can Use a Shoe to Get into a Bottle of Wine

Quite possibly, the most bizarre wine opening method is to use a shoe. Yes, you heard it, a shoe. 

This method will take some time, and you’ll most definitely look a little strange, but it’s all for a worthy cause. 

Wrap the bottom of your wine bottle in a towel, and then sit down, placing the bottle upside down between your legs. From here, repeatedly slap the bottom of the bottle with your shoe until the cork is almost out. It is extremely important to stop before the cork is entirely out. You don’t want your wine all over the floor now, do you? 

Once the cork is showing enough out of the bottle, simply pull it out and enjoy. 

You can also achieve this method by wrapping the bottle in a towel and hitting it against a wall, tree, or other flat surfaces.

6. Apply Heat

You Can Find Many Interesting Ways to Remove a Cork
via The Sun

We’re edging slightly more on the dangerous side, but using heat can cause the cork to move upward out of the bottle. Again, there are two ways people have experimented with, so we’ll mention both. 

For this, you’ll take a blowtorch or lighter and apply the heat right below the cork. Turn the bottle as you do this, and the cork should eventually slip right out. 

It is extremely important only to use this method if the bottle isn’t cold. If your bottle is refrigerated, leave it out until it is at a lukewarm temperature. The sudden change in temperatures could end up in an explosion. 

The second way only works if you have snow and fireplace tongs present. Heat the thongs in the fireplace or over a stove until they’re burning hot. Grab the bottle with the tongs at the neck before quickly packing the snow around it. The glass should evenly crack from the temperature change, but it’s best to run the wine through a strainer just to be on the safe side.

7. Pump It Out With a Bike Pump

Use a Pump to Force The Cork Out of the Bottle
via Which

Another simple how to open wine when you don’t have a corkscrew handy is the bicycle pump method. Grab your bike pump, shoving the inflator needle into the cork. The needle must go all the way through the cork and into the wine bottle for this to work. 

From here, gently pump until the cork begins edging its way out. It shouldn’t take too long for the cork to remove itself due to the inside air pressure.

8. Use Tweezers

Be Careful and Patient When Using the Tweezer Trick

The tweezer method is the most fiddly, possibly messy, and time-consuming way to open a bottle. You’ll need a set of tweezers, preferably ones you don’t mind getting rid of because once the cork is done with them, they’ll be extremely blunt and useless. 

You may also need a strainer in cases of a crumbling cork. There isn’t really a step-by-step method for this one; you’ll simply just pick at the cork until it all comes out or falls into the bottle.

This isn’t the most recommended method, but if it’s all you’ve got on hand, then it’s worth a shot.

Final Thoughts How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew 

So, there you have it, eight ways to open a wine bottle without the need of a corkscrew. Some may be slightly more challenging than others, and you may need to do some trial and error before getting the cork completely out, but be patient; it’ll all be worth it in the end.

We’re sure as time progresses, some new, weird, and creative removal ways will begin popping up.

Take care when attempting any of the methods listed above; some include sharp objects that could injure you during the process.

As we finally wrap up this article, are there any other ways to open wine without a corkscrew that we’ve missed? Let us know down below. We’d also love to know your personal experiences of removing a cork without a corkscrew. The funnier, the better!

6 comments
  1. While camping far away from any structures, I once opened a bottle by covering the neck with a clean tube sock, then breaking the neck off with a rock and pouring through the sock.

  2. I was 18, in London, and giddy about being able to purchase wine openly! But on a student trip with a teetotaler professor, couldn’t just ask to borrow a pull.
    So jet-lagged and motivated, I dug the cork out crumb by crumb with one of those old metal nail files! Took forever. You could never bring that wee weapon on a plane now.
    If I bring wine on a ground trip now, it will have a screw top: reliable spill-proof reclosure.

  3. Did you happen to try to saber it? Napoleon / vintage Cavalry officer style?
    [ Heavy knife or sword, slid rapidly along the neck and separating the top of the wine bottle from the lip of the wine bottle…. Or if sharp enough just decapitate the bottle altogether?]