How to open a wine bottle

How to open a wine bottle

5 ways to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew

No corkscrew? No problem. Here are 5 ways to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

If you enjoy wine, you know how hard it is to pop open a bottle if you don’t have a corkscrew. Of course, many bottles now come with screw caps, but most of them are still sealed with a good old cork. How did this piece of tree bark got so popular? And more importantly, why is it so hard to pull out?

Corks are actually much wider than the neck of the bottle; they’re pushed in there in the winery with lots of strength from a machine. Winemakers want a resistant, leak-proof seal, but it’s the cork’s strength that also makes it so hard to remove. 

Did you know the corkscrew was invented many decades after people started using corks to seal their bottles? The secret to opening bottles at that time was not inserting the cork all the way through. Today, that’s not the case anymore.

Well, whenever you need to open a bottle, you can’t stop at anything, and that means that even if you don’t have a corkscrew, you must find a way to pour that wine. Everyone depends on it. After all, what’s a party without wine?

Let’s explore all of our possibilities. Let’s see how you can pop open that tasty bottle with anything available, from keys to shoes, from lighters to screws. The key here is being open to new ideas. If you take wine too seriously, you’re missing out on all the fun. 

Imagine you’re at the park, at the beach or in the mountains. Every outdoor experience is an opportunity to be creative because, let’s face it, everyone will forget to bring a corkscrew. No one forgets the wine, though, just the very same tool to open it. You must be the hero and open that bottle, and there are many ways of achieving it. 

Alternative ways of opening a bottle of wine are also pretty cool party tricks in case you have to impress someone. Be careful, though. Whenever you try something new, especially opening a bottle of wine, you might injure yourself or others, so don’t try this at home just to show off. Just look for ‘epic wine opening fails’ on YouTube, and you’ll see nothing is as easy as it seems. Everything takes practice.

Although there are several methods of opening a bottle, some as dangerous as using a saber, we’ve compiled the ones that are most likely to succeed. They’re still not fool-proof, but they might just be what you need in any wine emergency.

Before attempting any wine stunt, make sure everyone is out of the way. Wine bottles are glass, after all, and they can and will break if you mess with them. Carry a corkscrew with you at all times and save the day, but in case you need them, here are 5 ways to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew.

Grab a pen and paper and take note, you’ll master these secret wine opening techniques in no time. Once you get one technique right, try another one. The more ways you have to open a bottle of wine up your sleeve, the more chances you’ll have of saving the day, and ultimately, that’s the objective here. Who doesn’t want to be the hero?

how to open a wine bottle

How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Key

Even if everyone forgets to bring a proper wine opener to the party, everyone has a set of keys in their pocket or handbag, that’s why this technique is so effective. 

Corks are very easy to pierce, and keys often have a sharp tip. This is why with slight movements; you can insert a key in the center of the cork without breaking either of them. Insert the key altogether, leaving the head exposed for you to twist the cork later on.

You’ll still need a good grip or the back of a hammer to remove the key and the cork, but it’s way easier to remove the key than the cork alone.

What can go wrong? For starters, there’s the possibility of you breaking the cork and letting it crumble into the bottle of wine, which is not terrible, but it isn’t nice either. 

You’ll have to master how to open a wine bottle with a corkscrew without lever because this is brute force. You must twist and pull the key and the cork but be careful. Don’t use a key that matters, like your car key, because there’s a big chance the key might bend irreparably. In that case, you won’t even be able to drive back home. Use someone’s spare key instead.

How to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew is not easy, and using a key is a tremendous feat. Keep in mind many bottles have a plastic or synthetic cork, and those won’t budge as quickly; they might prove to be a worthy adversary for your key.

There’s another significant risk to keep in mind. As you pull the key with one hand and the bottle with the other in opposite directions, if the cork does pop, the wine bottle might fly from your hand and into the carpet, or even worse, into the solid floor, smashing into pieces. 

You can also try to insert the key diagonally to add some leverage but understand this is not good for your key.

Perhaps the safest thing to do if the cork won’t budge is pushing it inside the bottle with the key. Wine will not flow properly, but you’ll be able to pour a few glasses, and that’s all that matters.

On a scale from one to ten, using a key to open a bottle of wine is a six. Only because keys are often more valuable than the bottle of wine, don’t you agree?

How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Shoe

If you’ve spent some time watching funny wine videos, you’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds of people attempting this trick and failing miserably. 

How does it work? A bottle of wine is obviously filled with wine, but there’s some air inside it too. An inert gas, to be precise. By thumping the bottles butt against a solid surface, like a wall, you can make the air pressure push the cork one thump at a time.

The shoe acts as a buffer that prevents the bottle from breaking, although it doesn’t always work. Use a sports shoe with a thick sole to reduce the possibilities of making a mess.

Also, keep in mind you have to use a solid surface like a concrete wall; otherwise, you might make a hole in the wall. It happens. 

Another downside is that you look ridiculous, attempting this ‘wine hack’, and you have to walk around with only one shoe, making things worse. 

Now, what if it works? Well, stop the thumping once you can remove the cork with your hand; if you carry on, you’ll end up bathed in ruby-red wine, and that’s an epic fail even if you managed to open the bottle with your shoe.

Although a fun party trick, this is no way to open a bottle of wine if you’re being serious about it. The bottle might get bottle-shocked with all the movement, and it will not taste or smell as good as it should.

It comes without saying you must never attempt this method with sparkling wine. Every bottle has the same pressure as a truck tire, meaning they’re bombs waiting to explode. You will undoubtedly fail and are at great risk of being harmed.

As everyone watches you and records you with their phones, hoping you mess up, you’ll remember to always bring a corkscrew with you. How to open a wine bottle with a shoe is a solid three on a one to ten scale.

How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Lighter

Let’s visit the science corner for a second. The small bubble or air space in the bottle is called ullage. And that air is trapped under tremendous pressure. 

In order to push the cork out of the bottle, the pressure inside the bottle must be greater than the pressure outside. How to increase the pressure? That’s where a lighter comes in. 

When you heat gas, including air, it expands. This immense pressure will eventually push the cork, which is malleable and flexible, out of the bottle. 

You must first remove the bottle’s foil to allow the cork to move freely; then, you must carefully heat the ullage or air bubble with the bottle standing up. 

This might not always work because the gas can escape from the bottle without moving the cork, which is a porous material after all. It might also take a long while, meaning you’ll probably burn your fingers before opening your precious bottle. 

Other than that, this is a pretty safe way of opening a bottle with science and not brute force. A fantastic trick to impress everyone; you can even do this just for fun! 

Practice before performing in front of your friends just in case and DO use a high-quality lighter and not the regular kind, or you’ll spend hours trying to remove that cork.

Since there are very few fail videos on the Internet for this method, we can only assume it works most of the time, and nothing extraordinary happens, at least nothing worthy of posting on Tiktok. 

Some people are afraid that the direct heat will ruin the wine, but the reality is that very little wine is exposed to the heat, so you won’t notice any side effects in your glass; this is as safe for the wine as it is for you.

How to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew with a lighter is an eight on a scale from one to ten.

How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Screw

The most effective way of opening a bottle of wine without a corkscrew is opening it with a regular screw and the back of a hammer. Slowly insert the screw at the cork center, leaving enough to grip it with the hammer’s back, and remove the cork risk-free.

There’s a problem. If you’re at the beach getting ready to enjoy a glass of wine and you forget a corkscrew, chances are you don’t have a screw and a hammer in hand. You’ll probably only have these tools at home, and that’s where you keep your corkscrew, so what’s the point?

Despite this being a super effective method of removing a cork from a wine bottle, it’s not very practical. You’ll have to choose, either carry a screw and a hammer to every party or carry a waiter’s friend corkscrew in your back pocket, what seems more comfortable?

Hammers are made with solid steel, and there’s always the risk of breaking the bottle’s neck with the pressure you put into it. You can use a cloth or a few layers of paper to protect the glass from the hammer as you leverage the cork free.

There’s another negative point for this technique, it’s far from being as cool as opening a bottle with a shoe or with a lighter, it’s not flashy enough, so if you were planning to use this method to gain some fans, you’re on the wrong track.

Despite all this, opening a bottle of wine with a screw and a hammer is an eight on a scale from one to ten.

How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Metal Cap

If you’re trying to open a bottle capped with a crown cap or metal cap, then you have a whole different problem in your hands. This type of closure is expected in beer, but also some cyders and other trendy sparkling wines.

For opening these bottles, we’ve seen it all, from using your teeth, which is a zero on a scale from one to ten, to opening it with a lighter, and sharp edge around, a folded newspaper or a spoon.

We recommend using the spoon method because it’s easier, and chances are finding a spoon is easy. Grab your bottle firmly with your weak hand and slide the spoon through the neck in a swift movement hitting the metal cap or crown cap at an angle. You’ll be surprised to see this method working almost every time, even for inexperienced spoon wielders. 

Another proven method is using a key, again one that no one is going to miss, and patiently releasing the metal cap’s ‘teeth’. Once you fold the metal slightly, the lid will pop instantly. 

The good news is that there’s always someone who knows how to open a metal cap in a fun, creative way in every group of friends. In a way, it’s a survival skill, so practice at home and become an expert. 

Uncorking wine bottle

Are You Ready to Try These?

Are you ready to prove to everyone you can open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew? In that case, please make sure someone streams it live on its social networks. If you’re successful, you’ll be a hero; if not, you’ll become a meme. Either way, you’re about to become famous, so get ready to get all those likes and shares.

Seriously, these wine opening hacks can be dangerous, so if you don’t value your safety, at least don’t attempt them with expensive wine bottles, that’s a terrible waste if you fail! If you get a bottle of fancy wine, make sure you have a corkscrew with you.

Share these life-saving tips with your wine-loving friends and see if they’ve tried them. If not, call them over and test them out with an inexpensive bottle of Merlot.


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