Using a suitable tool like a corkscrew to open a bottle is the safest and cleanest option, although certain quick and dirty methods to get the bottle open could appear more efficient.
You may be forgiven for not understanding how to open wine bottle if you’ve just recently discovered its pleasures. After all, unscrewing a wine bottle cork requires far more skill than opening a six-pack of beer.
To avoid any errors, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to open wine bottle, whether using a corkscrew or not.
How to Open Wine Bottle With or Without a Corkscrew
Use a Screw, a Screwdriver, and a Hammer
Even though this is one of the safer options on how to open wine bottle, you’ll need to be strong and resilient since it will quickly wear you out.
Using a screwdriver, you may insert a screw (ideally a large one) through the cork until just a fraction of an inch or so is exposed.
The cork is removed by locking the hammer’s reverse side beneath the screw and pulling it out. Towels are useful for drying off after it’s done when you’re likely to be hot and sweaty.
Use a Twin Lever Corkscrew
One of the most convenient ways how to open wine bottle is using a twin lever corkscrew. You’ve probably seen one of these corkscrews before; they resemble little men with long arms.
There’s no better way to get your wine out of the bottle than with one of these convenient wine openers. You should get one if you don’t already have one.
To begin, take off the foil cap from the bottle. To achieve this, slide a knife under the bottle’s lip and pull it out.
Remove the foil and position the corkscrew over the cork with the arms pointing down. With a firm grip, spin the head clockwise to bury the screw into the cork.
Slowly, the arms will begin to extend upwards. When the arms are at the highest point, use both hands to bring them down to the side.
The bottle may then be opened without a corkscrew being inserted. Make sure at least one coil protrudes from the cork by not twisting it to the bottom.
Use the lever as leverage and press it into the bottle’s lip. Finally, remove the cork from the bottle’s neck.
Push the Cork in With the Handle of a Wooden Spoon, or Any Blunt Object Similar in Size
Compared to the other methods on this list, this one is risk-free, although it has some drawbacks. Pull the cork out of the bottle of wine using the handle of the wooden spoon (or something similar).
Once you insert the cork into the bottle, it’s hard to get it out again. Additionally, when a cork is placed into an old bottle of wine, it sometimes crumbles and drops into the wine.
While this is never the desired outcome, it should not cause alarm if you drink with friends and intend to finish the bottle. The cork fragments may be easily removed by pouring the wine through a strainer into a decanter.
Use a Wine Key
Slim and lightweight, wine keys resemble a Swiss Army knife in design. Though they are more difficult to use than twin lever corkscrews, they are easier to carry and store, making them convenient for opening bottles while moving.
To open a bottle of wine with a wine key, you must first take off the foil cap. In contrast to twin lever corkscrews, wine keys often come along with a sommelier’s knife for removing the foil.
The next step is to place the corkscrew’s center over the cork’s center. Gently twist the screw clockwise until it is fully inserted into the cork.
Use a Knife
Similar to the key method described above, this method teaches you how to open a wine bottle if you don’t have a corkscrew.
A butter knife isn’t going to cut it here, and a folding knife is out of the question for obvious safety reasons, so you’ll need a very sharp steak knife.
The cork should be skewered down and at an angle through its center. To do this, insert the knife at an angle toward the center of the cork, just beyond its outer edges. Reduce its height by roughly one inch.
After that, you’ll have enough grip to hold on to the cork to begin a circular motion of pushing or pulling.
The cork will begin to loosen and rise to the surface at some point. It’s just like using a key, only with a knife. However, there are a few adjustments to make for specialized wines.
Heat It With a Lighter
Without a doubt, this is a preferred method on how to open a wine bottle. However, use caution. The situation is dangerous and might end in flames. To get to the cork, remove the foil covering it.
Then, place the flame from a lighter on the bottle’s neck below the cork. The goal is to warm up the space just under the cork.
Due to the increased volume of air, the cork is forced upward. For even air heating, move the light around the bottle’s neck.
You should expect to see the cork slowly moving upward and out of the bottle in a minute or two. This procedure is good since it eliminates the potential for cork breaking and doesn’t need any special knowledge of wine.
Hook It With a Hanger
Although this method is simple, it requires you to retire one of your wire hangers permanently. To begin, bend the hanger’s tip back approximately 30 degrees to resemble a fish hook. Now, like the cork, slip the wire down into the top of the sealed wine bottle.
You need to flip the wire over so that the hook is now at the base of the bottle. The cork should pop out when you lift the wire.
If the hanger seems to be stuck, you may use pliers or another common household object to give it a push. Take precautions by using a towel or gloves.
Wrap the Bottle With a Towel and Use the Wall to Smack It Out
If you’ve made it this far, you should know that things start to become risky. In contrast to the other options, this one doesn’t need any additional tools; it may be your best friend if you’re running low on supplies.
Wrap the bottle’s bottom in a thick towel, then smash it repeatedly against a wall. If you do this, the bottle is likely to shatter, so save it for a dire emergency.
It’s not going to work to slam the bottle against the wall with all your strength; the cork won’t come out the first time. Use mild blows to repeatedly tap the bottle against the wall to get the cork free.
Slap It Out With a Shoe
The biggest and most artistic approach to opening a wine bottle is using a shoe. Sommelier training often includes instruction on how to use one’s shoelaces to open wine bottles; however, this information is seldom mentioned.
To be safe. Insert the wine bottle so its base stands upright in the shoe’s heel cup. Find something hard, like a brick wall, and continuously smash the heel of your shoe against it.
Ideally, the cork would have risen only a fraction of an inch after being struck many times. When it happens, you may use your hand to break the impasse.
Tips for Avoiding Bottle Breakage and Injury
The safest way to open a wine bottle is to use a corkscrew. The risk of glass breakage and injury is increased when opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew; thus, this should only be done as a last option.
Applying heat or using a knife to crack open wine bottles are the two riskiest approaches. It is also advised against employing any “banging” techniques, such as throwing the bottle against a wall while wrapped in a towel or using a shoe to smash the bottle’s glass.
Never attempt to open a bottle of wine with a samurai sword unless you have been properly schooled in the sabrage method,
Use a cloth to wrap the bottle’s neck and handle before attempting to open it, no matter what technique you use. If you happen to drop a glass will save your hand from being hurt.
How to Re-cork or Close Wine Bottle
Wax paper is the ideal material to use for re-corking wine. The wax paper will facilitate the cork’s reinsertion into the bottle after being removed because corks expand after being removed. Insert the cork halfway and wrap the other end with wax paper.
Wine stoppers are another worthwhile purchase. Unlike corks, wine stoppers don’t have to be replaced after each use and may improve the seal on your bottle.
The typical shelf life of an opened bottle of wine is three to five days, depending on how well it has been re-corked and kept.
Open bottles of wine need to be kept in the wine fridge. However, you may use your standard refrigerator if you don’t have a wine refrigerator.
Be very careful when trying to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. Don’t do this if you’ve been drinking, and it’s better if you have a helping hand on standby.
To avoid damaging your wine, use a corkscrew or wine key instead of a screwdriver, wooden spoon, or bicycle pump. Avoid corks altogether, and go for bottles with screw caps instead. They’re simple to use and won’t let your wine spoil.