DIY Repurposing

How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew

Is the lack of a corkscrew making you whine over that tempting unopened bottle instead of wining and dining? Pop the cork using these three no-fail approaches.
Open Wine Without Corkscrew


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It’s an all-too-common occurrence: You pick up a fine bottle of wine to enjoy for dinner or to hand off as a hostess gift, when you suddenly realize there’s no corkscrew to be found. Fear not—there are plenty of household hacks you can use to remove the cork. With a few everyday items and a bit of old-fashioned elbow grease, you’ll be relaxing with a glass of Bordeaux’s best in no time.

1. Cork on the Cob

Open Wine Without Corkscrew - Corn Holders

Corncob skewers are best known as those little yellow tools that make it easier to handle your favorite summertime vegetable. However, these skewers and their sharp ends can also be put to good use as an in-a-pinch solution for opening bottles of red or white. Simply insert the prongs of a skewer into the cork and then gently lift, twisting left and right as you go until you successfully dislodge the top.

A similar approach involves using a corncob skewer in combination with a regular screw. Twist the screw about 60 percent of the way into the cork. Next, place the corncob prongs beneath the screw head to form a T shape. Grab hold of the screw and pull, then reward yourself with a generous pour.

2. Hammer Time

Open Wine Without Corkscrew - Hammer

For a corkscrew-free solution that literally nails it:

  1. Find a hammer and a handful of clean, short finishing nails that are about the same length as the cork.
  2. Hammer three to five nails in a straight line across the middle of the cork, using only mild force to avoid breaking the cork into pieces.
  3. Then, use the claw of the hammer to pull out the nails one at a time, removing a little bit more of the stubborn wine cork as you remove each nail.

3. Shoe Sommelier

Open Wine Without a Corkscrew - Open Wine with Shoe

This method involves slipping your chardonnay into something a little more comfortable—your shoe! Choose one that’s not overly cushioned, as this can weaken the effect of this approach.

  1. Rest the sole of the shoe flat against the wall.
  2. Place the bottom of the bottle inside the shoe.
  3. Holding the neck of the bottle with one hand and the shoe with the other, strike the two perpendicularly against the wall at least 10 times, or until the cork is dislodged. (Check the status of the cork every few strokes to ensure that it doesn’t fall out unexpectedly.)

The liquid in the bottle transfers the force from the wall to the cork, so you can remove it with ease and be back on your way to a relaxing evening. Bottoms up!