Today you’ll discover some ingenious techniques that won’t only get your delicious wines open, but also put you in the spotlight by impressing your friends, and truly prepare you for one of life’s stickiest situations.

When considering the ways to get a wine bottle opened without a corkscrew, you should always take into account what household items are available since each one of our methods requires the use of common items lying around your kitchen.

For this piece, we’ve put together our favorite methods that have been gathered from years of experience. Let’s not waste any more time and take on this problem head-on. I can almost tell that there’s a wine bottle that needs to be opened…

Well, what are you waiting for? Any of these tips will do the trick, just point and choose. Cheers!

1. Try Using A Key Or A Knife

Opening a bottle using a key or a knife

The key or knife techniques are two of the most commonly used methods out there since they’re quite straightforward and items that are necessary for this technique are some of the most readily available ones.

  1. To start, you’ll need a key with a somewhat sharp edge or a knife that isn’t too large (preferably serrated) that will be able to fit into the neck of the bottle.
  2. Next, with either of these items, push them into the cork at a 45-degree angle, (when using a key, grab a towel or something that can be wrapped around it, so that your hand won’t hurt) and push the item all the way through at an angle.
  3. Once the key or a knife is fully in, begin to rotate the cork and carefully pull as your key or a knife in one motion. When the cork comes far enough out that you can grip it with your hand, do that, and pull the rest of the cork out.

It should be noted that you should always proceed with caution since you are dealing with sharp objects and a glass bottle, which if isn’t handled carefully, can fall and break.

Also, be sure to use the strongest possible key since this method has been known to have broken keys before, so I’m sure you wouldn’t want to have another problem on your hands, besides the unopened wine.

2. Heat Up The Neck Of The Bottle

  1. By using a lighter or even a blowtorch (a candle, in theory, could work, though that could get a bit awkward and messy), make sure that you remove the wine capsule (protective sleeve) from the top before applying any heat.
  2. Hold the bottle or place it on a hard surface at a 90-degree angle so there’s air in the neck area that’s separating the wine from the cork.
  3. Begin by applying heat to the neck area of the bottle and continuously rotate the bottle to evenly distribute the heat for about a minute. Soon the heated air will expand enough to simply pop the cork straight out of the bottle… Hurray physics!

From a safety standpoint, make sure not to heat up a cold bottle of wine since there’s a possibility of it exploding from a rapid temperature change.

Additionally, please don’t look down directly at the bottle, since the cork will pop-out of the bottle with some speed, so just try to look away as you see the cork begin to rise (also make sure that there aren’t any lamps above you).

3. Screw And A Fork

For this method to work, you’ll need a single screw with large threads and the length that preferably matches that of the cork, plus a screwdriver and a fork.

In essence, this is one of the safest tricks to get a bottle of wine opened without the need for a corkscrew, though this method does require a little bit of strength.

  1. What you’ll need to do is to twist the screw into the middle of the cork with the help of a screwdriver until there's just a tiny bit of space left between the top of the screw and the top of the bottle.
  2. Next, grab your fork and wedge it into the created space. Once you do this, you can use the fork as a lever by going up and down.
  3. The cork will begin to come out of the bottle and once it’s halfway through, you can simply use the fork to pull out the rest of the cork.

If you have a hammer at your disposal, this process can become even easier by using the end of a hammer to pull the cork out in a single, swift motion.

4. A Shoe To The Rescue

Fine, so you are out of tools, forks, and no lighter by your side, you can still try one of the oldest tricks in the book. This time around, all you need is a shoe and there’s got to be at least one nearby, I hope?

  1. Begin by placing the bottom of the bottle into a hard-soled shoe (the bottom of the shoe must be hard, otherwise, this trick won’t work).
  2. Next, find a sturdy wall that has nothing hanging on it (we want to prevent anything from falling and causing additional havoc).
  3. By holding the shoe and the bottle securely, smack the heel of the shoe against the wall a couple of times, until the cork comes out halfway through, after which you can put your shoe back on and pull the cork out with your hand.

This hack should be used only if no other tools and options are available since there’s a risk of a bottle breaking if not done carefully.

Additionally, you are going to make quite a bit of noise, so don’t blame us if you end up waking somebody up, or worse, irritating your neighbours. Maybe just ask them for a corkscrew instead?

5. Push The Cork Into The Bottle.

With this one, it’s as straightforward as it possibly gets. Instead of getting the cork out, we’re simply going to push it in.

Apart from being one of the safest methods, you should make sure that the cork which you’re pushing in is in good condition and isn’t going to break apart. otherwise, the situation might be quite messy with bits of cork floating around in your wine.

What you’ll need for this method to work is a blunt object that can fit into the bottle opening. For example, a wooden spoon works great, or anything of such nature, as long as it fits.

  1. You’ll want to place the bottle on a hard surface and if you’re around someone, ask them to help hold the bottle in place (a good idea is to wrap the top part in a towel since 99.9% of the time a little bit of wine will squirt out).
  2. Next, begin to apply force by pushing the cork inwards, slowly but surely.
  3. Once the cork is inside the bottle, we suggest that you pour the wine to a decanter or a glass pitcher since pouring wine with a cork inside of a bottle usually makes for not the most pleasant experience.

Honorable Mentions

There are a couple of other less popular yet quite creative methods to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. Let's take a quick look.

Got A Bike Pump Laying Around?

Having a bike pump can also work as a solid alternative to opening up a bottle in an impressive fashion.

By simply penetrating the cork with the needle of the bike pump to a point when it reaches the air between the cork and the wine, you can simply pump air into the bottle which will force the cork out, thanks to the created air pressure.

Towel As A Last Resort

This technique is similar to the shoe method, though it’s even riskier and takes a couple more bangs against the wall to actually work.

What you’ll need here is a towel that will have to be wrapped around the button of the bottle. Now, in a similar way that you hit the shoe with a bottle inside against the wall, you can use a towel with the same intent.

Just don’t go too hard, I’d hate to know that your unfortunate outcome was my doing. Just remember, easy does it!

I truly hope that you've found these tips helpful and fun! If you enjoyed the read, do subscribe to my newsletter and follow @winerox on Instagram.

Cheers! 🍷