How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew?

How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew
Photo by Stephanie Berbec

Every wine lover faces the inevitable problem of how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew at some point in their life. However, there’s no need to worry about that since we’ve all been in your shoes.

You will likely need to devise some ingenious methods of cork removal if you plan on enjoying a bottle of wine at a friend’s house on a romantic picnic.

The good news is that people have had to figure out how to open wine bottles without a corkscrew for ages, so your problem is not unique.

You should read on if you’re sitting there with a bottle of wine and feeling down because you can’t get the cork out.

Tips on How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew

Pull the Cork With a String

Carefully make a hole in the cork with the screwdriver. When you’re done, use the screwdriver to drive the end of the string through the knot you tied in the string. Once the knot has traveled to the other end of the cork, it should be easy to untie.

A less-than-desirable glass of wine may result if the cork crumbles and bits fall into the bottle. The straining and decanting steps are quite similar to the push technique.

Hook It With a Hanger

Although this tip on how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew is simple to implement, it does need the permanent disposal of one of your wire hangers.

Start by bending the hanger’s tip back at an angle of 30 degrees; if you do it perfectly, the hanger will resemble a fish hook.

The wire may go in the bottle’s cork opening when you’re done. Turn the wire around so that the hook is now below the cork. The cork should come out when you lift the wire.

If the hanger is stuck, try tugging it with pliers or other objects around the home. Take precautions by wearing protective clothing or using a towel or gloves.

Apply Heat

Using heat to force the cork upward out of the bottle puts you on the edge of danger. Two approaches have been tried and tested.

Use a blowtorch or a lighter to apply direct heat below the cork. As you do this, rotate the bottle so the cork can work its way out.

Using this technique requires extra caution since it should only be used if the bottle is not cold. Leave the bottle until it reaches room temperature if you keep it in the fridge. The temperature shift is potentially explosive.

If you have snow and fireplace tongs, you may use the second method (DIY). You may get the thongs very hot by heating them in the fire or on top of the stove. Take hold of the bottle by the neck with the tongs, and then swiftly pack snow around it.

While the temperature shift should cause the glass to break uniformly, it’s still prudent to filter the wine before serving.

Use Hammer and Screw

Insert a screwdriver into the cork and then use the “claw” of a hammer to pull it out. This is a proven and reliable procedure requiring just a few common items.

It would be ideal if you could also locate a screwdriver since this would allow you to drive the screw down into the cork, making removal much more secure and less of a hassle.

A pair of regular pliers may be used with a claw hammer to grasp the screw and pull out the cork. It is possible to spill wine or, even worse, harm oneself, so use caution as you would with any approach.

Twist It Out With Keys or a Serrated Knife

This method is similar to the previous tip on how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew, in which a screw and hammer are used to rip out the cork.

Instead, insert your keys or a serrated knife into the cork at a 45-degree angle and gently pull it out by rotating the top of the bottle in a circle.

Turning the bottle around should help loosen the cork. If you want to avoid the crumbling cork, make sure your object is pushed inside it.

Use Tweezers

Bottles can be opened using tweezers, but it’s tedious and somewhat messy. You’ll need tweezers, so grab a pair you don’t mind throwing away since the cork will make your tools very blunt and useless. In case of a crumbling cork, a filter may also be required.

There isn’t a precise procedure for this; instead, you should merely pick at the cork until it either falls into the bottle or you get what you want. Although it isn’t the preferred approach, give it a try if this is all you have available.

Shoe and Wall Trick

A flat shoe with a strong rubber sole is ideal, and the wine bottle may be placed in the shoe so that its base rests at the heel and the bottle stands straight like a leg.

The wine bottle should be held with the hand that is not holding the toe of the shoe, and the other should be used to grasp the shoe’s toe. Put the wine bottle’s base in your shoe and throw it towards the wall at right angles.  

The liquid is being forced in one way as you pound, which is why the cork is being forced out. On the other hand, not just any shoe will do. Avoid doing this in heels; know that cushioned running shoes won’t be effective either.

This approach may be time-consuming and tiresome. You may draw it out as soon as the cork is loose enough to hold with pliers or your fingers.

Push the Cork Into the Bottle

Opening a bottle of wine with a wooden spoon is another secure alternative on how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. A strainer or coffee filter, a secondary container, and a wooden spoon are all you need to get started here.

You may use the wooden spoon’s handle to help the cork go down into the bottle. This procedure is only recommended if you intend to drink the full bottle of wine before replacing the cork.

You can have trouble with the push approach if the cork crumbles when you push it into the bottle. This is where a filter comes in handy. Carefully pour the wine through the sieve and into your secondary container.

Twist It Out With Scissors

This is an easy approach to getting entry to the bottle using common home items. To remove the cork, insert the blade of the scissors into its middle. Don’t injure yourself; take extra precautions.

When the blade is fully inserted, gently turn the scissors’ handles. Turn the bottle upside down and use your free hand to twist the cork upwards, releasing it from the bottle.

Pump It Out With a Bike Pump

When you don’t have a corkscrew, the bicycle pump technique is a quick and easy alternative on how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. Get your bicycle pump and insert the needle into the stopper.

The needle must pass completely through the cork and into the wine bottle for this to work. To get the cork out from here, you need to give it a little pump. The internal air pressure should quickly force the cork out.

How to Open a Wine Bottle With Corkscrew

The winged corkscrew and the wine key are the two most common types of corkscrews. Although both types of corkscrews are cheap, widely available, and simple to use, it is still possible to shatter a cork if the user does not use the right method. Listed below is the optimal use of each type.

Use a Wine key

A wine key, sometimes called a waiter’s corkscrew, consists of a foil cutter, a lever, and a “worm.” The little knife-like foil cutter has one simple use: slicing off the foil seal on your wine bottle.

When cutting foil for a wine bottle, place the foil cutter above the first ridge at the bottle’s top and gently push. Spinning the bottle in a full circle will allow the cutter to reach around the bottle’s narrow neck.

The foil must be opened at the top. Place the worm (or spiraling corkscrew) in the cork’s center and turn it clockwise until the spiral is entirely entered. Place the metal arm (the lever) on the wine bottle’s lip at the shorter notch, then lift the handle to extract the cork.

If the shorter notch on the lever isn’t long enough, you may always swap to the longer one and keep pulling until the cork is out.

Use a Winged Corkscrew

To begin, remove the foil off the top of the wine bottle as you would with a wine key. The corkscrew should be inserted into the center, and the top handle should be twisted to advance the tool further into the cork.

After inserting the corkscrew into the cork and tightening it, push down on the “wings” or levers of the opener toward the bottle’s center, using both hands. The cork is released when the levers are lowered.

If it isn’t fully extracted, insert the corkscrew farther into the cork and turn it while pressing down on the wings. Hold the bottle firmly with one hand and the bottom of the opener in the other, and pull the cork out carefully.


Without the use of a corkscrew, wine bottles may be easily opened. The easiest way is just to push it in, but for a little flair and potential hazard, you may also use a lighter to heat the air directly under the cork.

It’s amusing to hammer the wine out with a shoe if you’re doing it for show or to amuse yourself. However, it’s preferable for everyone’s sanity and security if you get at least a simple wine key.

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