How To Open A Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew


At the end of a long day (or the beginning of a short one), there’s nothing like a nice, relaxing glass of wine to take the edge off. But drinker beware: between you and the Relax Juice is the dreaded cork of frustration, and , as any seasoned drinker knows, cork removal doesn’t always go as planned. The cork can break off, take She-Hulk force to remove, or be stuck frustratingly in the neck of the bottle with no opener in sight. What’s a thirsty lady to do? MacGyver her way into that bottle, that’s what!

All you really need to break into a wine bottle is a hard object like a tree or a shoe, a towel, some pluck, and a diminished sense of shame. First, remove the foil or wrapping around the top, and wrap the bottle in a towel. Next, find a large tree with a relatively smooth patch of trunk. Get a firm grip on the neck and body of the bottle, and proceed to whack the bottom of the bottle on the tree trunk. There’s obviously a right and wrong way to do this. The wrong way would be to swing it like a baseball bat and smash it against the trunk. That will open the bottle, sure, but the wine will be full of shattered glass and hardly drinkable. You may also get arrested for disorderly conduct. The part of the bottle that should be making contact with the tree is the flat part at the bottom (for extra guidance, take a look at this guy who looks kind of like Ethan from Lost). Keep firmly whacking at a controlled speed (this sentence is not about what to do with a penis) until pressure from the bottle builds up enough to displace the cork. At that point, you can grab and twist it out the rest of the way yourself. Voila! Alcohol and an arm workout!

If you don’t want to use a tree or put on pants and go outside, you can open the bottle by hitting it on the bottom with a hard soled shoe or phone book. Place the bottle upside down between your knees, making sure it’s securely in place, and firmly smack the bottom of the bottle with the sole of your shoe. You can also do what this French dude does and put it inside the shoe and bang both shoe and bottle against the wall, but I wouldn’t do that unless your walls are more solid than mine. It might be hard to explain drywall damage caused by wine shoe banging to a landlord.

Stubborn bottles may be easier to open if you slightly heat the bottom of the bottle, as the heat will cause the air inside the bottle to expand, thus making it easier to push the cork out from within.

This trick is also effective for opening champagne, but bottle pounder beware — after partly displacing the cork, wait at least 10 minutes to pull it the rest of the way out, lest champagne explode all over your face, and not in a fun, sexy rap video style. In a alcohol in your eyes making your eyelashes all sticky style. Sticky goop stuck in eyelashes is difficult to remove. Trust me on this; I speak from (very unfortunate) experience.
Of course, not all of us have the arm strength or coordination to be trusted to hit a glass bottle on something hard several times in succession without breaking it. For those people, I recommend the screw and hammer method, which is exactly what it sounds like, unless you thought I meant that you “screw” someone in exchange for borrowing their “hammer.” First, gather a long screw, a screwdriver, and hammer. Remove the foil from the top of the wine bottle. Twist the screw into the cork as far as you can while still leaving about an inch or so of screw sticking out of the top of the cork. Then, use the hammer to pry the cork out. At this point, it’s important to note that this method, if employed incorrectly or overzealously, could result in a hammer to the face, which is both embarrassing an painful.

You can open the wine by pushing the cork into the bottle if you poke a hole all the way through the cork first. Then, grab a thin tool — a wooden or plastic stirring spoon or something similar, and push like the dickens. Imagine that you’re giving birth to a hangover baby.

If your goofy wine opening methodology results in a broken cork, use the Push Down method to access your god-nectar. The end of a wooden spoon works, or any other long, thin tool (long, thin tools that probably won’t work, like John Mayer). You can also apply a long screw to the cork and pry it out, again using a hammer. Pushing a broken cork into a bottle of wine will likely result in that wine becoming infused with cork sediment, which is generally though of as not tasty by the world’s most discerning sommeliers. You’re going to want to pour the wine through a cheesecloth or other filtering cloth and into a decanter or empty Big Gulp.

So what did we learn from this bottle opening adventure? First, corkscrews are like designated drivers- they’re good to have around on nights you want to get hammered. But if you don’t have a corkscrew around, there’s no reason to freak out. Now, sit back with your glass of hard earned fermented grape juice and smile with the self satisfaction only attainable by the most serious of winos.

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