6 ways to open wine bottles without a corkscrew

Regardless of whether you pick up crisp white wines from the shops or your wine comes from a well-curated monthly wine subscription box, you know the struggles of opening a bottle of wine. But the challenge is maxed to 100 when you can’t seem to find your corkscrew.

Can you open wine bottles without a corkscrew? You can bet your wine-loving heart that you can! Here are some fun ways to do it.

Disclaimer: Not all of these corkscrew-free methods are fool-proof. It’s best to be extra careful when doing them. Also, if you have a vintage wine bottle, don’t risk it and find a corkscrew instead. You can ask your neighbour if you can borrow theirs or go down to the shops to buy a new one.


Screw, screwdriver & hammer method

The first method requires a long screw, a screwdriver, a hammer, and a lot of resilience. Using a screwdriver, drive the screw into the cork. Leave about an inch of the screw sticking out on top of the cork. Take the backside of the hammer and pull the screw like you would a nail. The cork would ideally pop right out.


Push-in method

If you can’t pull the cork out, try pushing it in! Take a blunt instrument like a wooden spoon handle and place it on the cork. Use your strength to push the cork all the way into the bottle. This works best with newer bottles with sturdier corks. But if your cork crumbles in your wine bottle, don’t fret. Pour out the wine into a decanter and remove the cork particles.


Hanger method

The hanger method is easy but requires a wire hanger as a sacrifice. First, bend the hanger tip at about 30 degrees to create a fish hook. Then carefully slide the wire alongside the cork until it reaches the cork’s base. 

Once at the base, rotate the wire at 90 degrees to hook the cork base. Use a pair of pliers to yank out the hanger and the cork with it. Remember to use gloves and towels for protection.


Wall smack method

The wall smack method sounds fun, but it can be a bit dangerous. Use a damp towel to wrap the bottom of the bottle. Then smack the covered portion against the wall. Don’t expect to see the cork flying out the first time you do it. You need to do it repeatedly while paying close attention to the force you are using.


Shoe slap method

Opening wine bottles without a corkscrew can be frustrating. Why not use a method that can relieve stress along the way? Wrap the wine base with a towel. Turn the bottle upside down and slap it with the shoe’s sole. Do this repeatedly until you see that a few inches of the cork have come out of the bottle. Then, pull the cork out.


Heating method

It may look like magic, but this method is actually all science. Take a blowtorch or a lighter and apply heat on the neck of the wine bottle that’s room temperature or slightly cold. 

Apply the heat on the same spot until the cork slowly rises and pops out. The heating method looks like a fun party trick, but you have to make sure the bottle is not too cold. The sudden temperature change can cause the bottle to explode.

Keep your corkscrew handy

One of the easiest ways to open your gift wine or the wine from your monthly wine subscription box is with a corkscrew though of course. Having a place for your corkscrew and returning it to where it belongs after every use ensures you don’t lose it.

But if you can’t find it anywhere or you want to have a fun party trick, try the methods above. Just be careful when you’re having fun to keep things under control!


If you are looking for one of the best monthly wine subscription boxes that deliver in the UK and across Europe, turn to Plonk Wines. We are passionate about finding great wine selections to make the everyday moments into a celebration of life. Sign up for your subscription today!


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