8 Potentially Irresponsible Ways to Open a Wine Bottle

We’ve all been there. You’re staring into the kitchen drawer where the corkscrew should be. It’s not there. And you have absolutely no idea where it has run off to. Chances are it’s near the same place as the land of the lost socks. No matter. Here are 8 effective – and potentially irresponsible – things you can use to get that cork out of that bottle.

Two Paper Clips and a Spoon

Unbend the middle loop of each paper clip leaving a U-shape at each end. Wedge one end of the paper clip between the cork and the bottle, pushing it down into the bottle until the end of the U is beneath the cork. Repeat with the other paper clip. Rotate the paper clips and pull upwards, so that the free ends of the U’s will push into the cork. Twist the upper U’s together, and place spoon underneath them. Pull hard.

A Knife

Insert the knife at a 45-degree angle. Twist upward. Be gentle.

A Shoe

Place the wine bottle into the heel of a thick-soled shoe (think: sneakers). Firmly but cautiously, slam the shoe repeatedly against a wall until the cork begins to pop out of the bottle. Once the cork is about three-quarters of the way out you should be able to pull it the rest of the way by twisting with your hands or pliers.

A Hammer and Nails

Gently tap two or three nails into the cork. Use the back of the hammer to pull the cork out.

A Bike Pump

Insert the pump-needle between the cork and the edge of the bottle. Pump slowly until the cork begins to pop out. Again, once the cork is most of the way out try twisting it the rest of the way with your hands or pliers.

A Metal Shirt Hanger

Twist a metal shirt hanger into a corkscrew shape using pliers. Screw into bottle and pull out.

A Blowtorch

Point your fiery wine key at the neck of the bottle, just below the cork, pointing at an upwards angle. Slowly move the flame up to nudge the cork out.

A Screw Cap

Avoid this issue entirely. Buy a screw cap next time.

5 Comments

  • Justin Zatovich says:

    You need to eat in El Paso to taste authentic Mexican food

  • Ray Jordan says:

    Some great new ideas here. Thank you. Sometimes, I find myself in a hotel with apparatus like pliers or blow-torches. The paper clips or shoe would work well there. The other approach I’ve taken is to remove the round wooden dowel from a pants hanger, step into the bathroom, put the bottle on the floor and gently press the dowel into the cork, driving the cork into the bottle. Do it slowly and you’ll just drip a few drops of wine on the floor. Do it fast and you’ll be wearing the wine.

  • Ray Jordan says:

    Oops, I mean “a hotel without apparatus like pliers or blow-torches”

  • Eleanor says:

    9. Gently tap the bottom of the bottle repeatedly against a door jam until the cork has moved enough to grab and remove.

    I learned this from a Greek med student while I was studying in Athens during college. This method still impresses at parties!

  • Judy says:

    At one time, my husband called a plumber to come to our hotel room to fix some nonexistent problem. When the plumber arrived, he had the plumber use his many tools to open our wine bottle. Not a gentle solution, but it worked.

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