10 Ways to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Bottle Opener

Detail of wine corks in color vintage style
Detail of wine corks in color vintage style

Being spontaneous and buying a bottle of wine from the blue is the start of any good adventure. However, what do you do when you can’t find a wine bottle opener anywhere? Don’t worry; there are many ways to get the job done! Many people have been in the exact same situation as you, so over the years a lot of innovative and impromptu opening methods have been discovered.

We’ve gathered the best (and most safe ones) in a quick-to-read list. We even have a technique for when you don’t have any tools like an electric wine bottle opener at your disposal, so keep on reading to find the best way to open your wine bottle!

  1. Use a hammer, a screwdriver, and a screw

It’s time to get out the tools! All you need to do is use the screwdriver to introduce the screw into the cork, leaving at least half an inch out. Then use the forked end of the hammer to lift up the cork, and voila! Your wine is ready to be served.

Note: If you do not have a screw, you can also use a long nail.

  1. Use a screw with a hook and a wooden spoon

If you have a ceiling hook left from when you were hanging up the curtains, it’s time to search your garage for it. Screw the hook into the cork, and then use both of your hands to lift up the cork with a wooden spoon. You can hold the bottle between your thighs for better control.

  1. Use a screwdriver and string

If the only tool you have around the house is a screwdriver, all is not lost. For this method, you need to use the screwdriver to make a hole in the cork. Then, make a knot in the string and push it through the hole. To successfully get the cork out, you need to yank the string in a forceful way.

  1. Use a key or a knife

Introduce the key or the (preferably serrated) knife at a 45-degree angle into the screw. Then use the lever to twist the cork out slowly. You can also use scissors, but be very careful not to cut yourself.

  1. Use a bike pump

If you have a bike pump lying around by chance, this technique is quite easy to do. Insert the needle of the bike pump into the cork completely until it comes out the other side. When you pump, the air pressure will slowly push out the cork.

  1. Use a wooden spoon

When all else fails, you can use a wooden spoon to push the cork into the wine. In case your cork crumbles, you can use a sifter or a coffee filter to get all the cork pieces out.

  1. Use a wire hanger

Shape the hanger into a makeshift fish hook, then carefully introduce it between the cork and the bottle. Hook the wire into the cork, then pull it out with a couple of twists.

  1. Use heated tongs

This technique is a Portuguese staple, but you need to be aware that it might affect the taste of the wine. Heat the tongs over an open fire (carefully!), then place them on the neck of the bottle, under the cork. The heat will make the cork rise up by itself.

  1. Make mulled wine instead

You can add your bottle to a pot of boiling water as well, but we only recommend this method for people looking to make mulled wine. After the cork gets out, you can heat up the wine, add some spices, and finish it up with an orange slice.

  1. Use your shoe

If you have no tools at your disposal, the shoe method is your best bet. Place the wine bottle upside down between your thighs, then use the heel of your shoe to slap the bottom of the bottle. Slowly but surely, the cork will start to come out. Yank it out when it’s about three-quarters of the way out.

However, if you are a wine enthusiast and regularly enjoy a good glass of wine, then we recommend a professional tool that makes your wine opening, pouring and drinking experience that much better: the Rabbit Wine Opener!

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