Whether you’ve misplaced your bottle opener or you’re away from home and you don’t have one to hand, there are plenty of workarounds you could try for uncorking.
Today, we’ll give you no less than 10 hacks to remove the corks from your wine with no bottle opener.
10 Ways to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Bottle Opener
- Use a blunt object to push the cork in
- Grab a screw, a screwdriver and a hammer to uncork your wine
- Try the shoe method
- Serrated knives make makeshift bottle openers
- Your car keys do more than open your ride
- Coat hangers can prise out wine corks at a pinch
- Paperclips are miraculous if you lose your corkscrew
- Utilize scissors to prise out your wine corks
- Pump the cork out your wine bottle
- Crank up the heat to uncork your wine bottles
1) Use a blunt object to push the cork in
One of the safest ways to uncork a wine bottle is to grab the handle of a wooden spoon or a similar blunt object.
All you need to do is take the handle of the spoon (or whatever object you are using) then push the cork hard down into the bottle.
Now, that’s the easy part. Removing the cork is another matter entirely. Also, if you try this trick with mature wine and an old cork, there’s every chance it will end up shredded, tainting your wine. If this happens, you can try pouring your wine into a decanter through a strainer.
Since you won’t be able to remove the cork, be prepared to sink the whole bottle in one session.
2) Grab a screw, a screwdriver and a hammer to uncork your wine
As long as you don’t mind putting in a little elbow grease, this impromptu method of uncorking wine bottles is safe and relatively straightforward.
Grab a screwdriver then screw a long screw into the cork. You need to leave roughly an inch of the screw visible.
Next, place the reverse side of a hammer under the screw and pull out the cork with ease.
3) Try the shoe method
If you have high-profile shoes like boots or ankle-height shoes, did you know they could serve as a bottle opener?
Any shoes like loafers with raised soles also work well, but what do you do?
Remove the seal from your cork. Hold your shoe of choice against the bottom of your wine bottle. Hit the shoe against a wall several times. This action will cause the cork to slowly start coming out. Once you have the opportunity, pull the cork and ease it out.
The downside of this approach is that the cork can sometimes eject rapidly creating a cascade of wine and a foaming bottle likely to overflow onto your carpet. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
4) Serrated knives make makeshift bottle openers
A serrated blade can help you remove the cork from a wine bottle.
Simply slide the blade into the cork so you can then twist that cork upwards.
When you’re left with an inch or so of the cork, stick the knife into the cork sideways. The finishing move is to use a circular motion and you should find the cork pops out.
5) Your car keys do more than open your ride
Car keys serve the same purpose as a serrated blade.
Poke your car key into the cork at an angle with a small portion of the key still sticking out. You then use the top of the key to push the cork clockwise. It should then come up and out quick-smart.
Mastering this trick is as simple as turning the key in circles while simultaneously pulling upward.
6) Coat hangers can prise out wine corks at a pinch
Get a wire coat hanger and bend the hook so it’s straightened out.
With some pliers, make yourself a mini-hook at the bottom of the coat hanger. You can angle the last piece of the wire so it’s angled at 30 degrees and resembles a fish hook.
Push the wire between the wine bottle and the cork. Ensure the wire sits flush to the edge of your wine bottle and make certain the hook is not facing in. Push the wire so the hook is under the cork. This calls for you pushing it down 2 inches or more.
You then need to twist the wire 90 degrees. This allows you to more easily pull it out. Twist the hanger and the hook will move to the center of the bottle.
Pull the hanger out slowly and wobble it from side-to-side gently as you pull.
This is a clumsy and involved method that might be worth knowing, but is certainly not your best option if you’re looking to uncork a bottle on the hoof.
7) Paperclips are miraculously good if you lose your corkscrew
All you need for this next hack is a pair of paperclips and a pen.
Straighten the paperclips so the U-shapes are still intact. Pull the outer part of the clips so it forms a straight line without impacting the inner Us.
Insert a paperclip into the side of the bottle. Work the U-shape into the bottle so it sits between the cork and the glass. The straight part should be out of the bottle.
Twist the wire 90 degrees. The U should still be under the cork as you pull upward.
Repeat this procedure on the other side of the cork with the second paperclip.
Join both paperclips together at the ends. Twist them together a few times.
Remove the cork by inserting a pen under the twisted wire. You could alternatively use a pencil or a spoon handle. Slip your fingers under the pen holding the wires between your ring and middle fingers.
Pull the cork out slowly and bingo!
8) Utilize scissors to prise out your wine corks
For this tactic, you need some scissors. While any scissors will do, smaller craft scissors are ideal. Use your kid’s scissors if you don’t have any small enough yourself.
Open out the scissors and slide the thinner blade into the center of the cork.
You now need to apply just a little pressure – less is more here – until the blade of the scissors is about midway into the cork. Push too hard and too far and you’ll break the cork.
As you pull up to remove the cork, you twist the scissors. Hold the bottle very tightly with your other hand as you do this and exercise extreme caution at all times.
If you have wedged the cork in enough, it should come out on the blade of the scissors. If not, it should have edged out far enough for you to remove it by hand.
9) Pump the cork out of your wine bottle
As we edge to the end of our workarounds, we’ve got something super-simple.
Use a bicycle pump with a needle attached. Push this through the cork until the needle hits the air between the wine and the cork. As you pump air in, so the air pressure removes the cork.
10) Crank up the heat to uncork your wine bottles
This last trick might sound crazy but it works! Use a blowtorch to heat the wine bottle directly below the cork.
Heat will force the cork up and out of the bottle.
Note: Ensure the bottle is not cold before attempting the above. The extreme change in temperature could cause the bottle to shatter.
Well, there’s now absolutely no excuse not to uncork your wine bottle even if you neither a corkscrew or bottle opener available.
Take care with all the above methods, particularly the ones we flag as potentially risky. For any of these methods involving sharp blades or objects, consider wearing gloves. At all times, keep your hands well away from the blades or the scissors.
The method involving heat requires you to follow the instructions precisely. Fail to bring the bottle to room temperature and you might find the huge difference between ice cold and heat gives you far more than you bargained for.
We would not really advise using any of these methods at all unless you have no other option, though. With the best wine openers costing so little, there’s no reason not to have one in the kitchen cupboard. If you don’t want a full-blown opener, even a regular corkscrew is far smarter than using any of these workarounds.
Before heading off, bookmark BriccoWine and we’ll see you very soon!