How To Uncork Wine Without A Corkscrew (Guide)

There is nothing worse than getting excited for your glass of wine, only to discover that you cannot get into the bottle. If you do not have a corkscrew it may seem as though all is lost, but we are here to tell you that this is not the case.

We have rounded up some of the best hacks to uncork wine without a corkscrew. 

How to uncork wine without a corkscrew

Blowtorch 

This method is a little intense, but highly effective. If you have a blowtorch handy then it’s well worth a try. It may not be the most practical way to open a wine bottle, but it’s certainly the most exciting. 

This method works as glass will expand when subjected to heat. This creates an increased amount of space in the neck of the bottle, allowing the cork to lift gracefully out.

All you need to do is heat the neck of the bottle, slightly underneath the cork. This will force the glass and the air inside the bottle to expand and the cork will jump out.

This is a slightly dangerous method to use as you are working with an intense flame that which could burn you. The cold glass is also prone to shattering if heated up too rapidly, so you must be aware of this.

To reduce the chances of this happening, we recommend warming up your wine bottle a little bit first. 

Boiling

This is a good way to remove the cork from a wine bottle with little effort on your part. That being said, it is best if you plan to serve the wine warmed, such as in mulled wine.

Place a large pan of water on the stovetop and bring it to a boil. Remove any wrappings from the top of the wine bottle, so that the cork is free to move. Place the bottle into the pan of boiling water and wait for the heat to force the cork out. 

Hammer And Screw

To use this method, you will need a hammer with a claw side, or a pair of pliers, and a long screw. If you have these on hand, the method is incredibly simple. It is further enhanced by using a screwdriver too.

Use the screwdriver to twist the nail into the cork, trying to get it as deep as possible while leaving a couple of centimeters of exposed nail sticking out of the top.

Use the claw side of the hammer to grip onto the nail and pull firmly upward, forcing the cork out of the bottle. 

Hanger

For this method, you will need a wire coat hanger. Straighten out the hook at the top of the hanger, and then twist it into a corkscrew shape. This can then be used in the same way as a corkscrew to remove the cork.

Hook And Pen 

This is done using a small picture hook with a screw end. The method is almost the same as the one above. The screw end of the hook is inserted into the cork and the pen is threaded through the hook part. This is then used to pull the cork out of the bottle’s neck. 

You can also use a coat hanger for this method, provided you have a wire one on hand. Bend the hook backward about 30 degrees. The resultant hanger should resemble a fish hook.

Insert this part of the hanger along the side of the cork and rotate 90 degrees. This should flip the hanger so the hook is settled underneath the cork. Pull upward to drag out the cork. Use pliers to help pull the hanger out if you encounter difficulties.

Keys Or Knife

How to uncork wine without a corkscrew knife

This method again works using a similar principle. Force a key or a serrated knife into the cork of the wine bottle at about a 45 degree angle. Rotate the upper area of the keys or knife in a circular motion.

Gently increase the height as you do so, and you will notice the cork being slowly pulled out of the bottle. You should take care to embed the key or knife quite deeply into the cork, to reduce the risk of the cork crumbling. 

Knot And String

For this method, you will need a screwdriver or metal skewer as well as a thick strand of string or cord. The first thing you will need to do is to make a hole down the center of the cork. This is why you require a screwdriver or metal skewer. 

Tie a knot at the end of your string and insert this into the hole that you have just made. Use the same metal implement to force the knotted end of the string through the cork and out the other side.

Once fully threaded, you should be able to pull firmly on the string to lift the cork and remove it from the wine bottle. 

You will need a decent strength level to make this method work correctly. It also requires a lot of effort but will work in a pinch. We recommend trying some of the alternative methods listed here before resorting to this one. 

Pump Out The Cork

This is a fun method that involves the use of a bicycle pump with a needle attachment. Insert the needle firmly through the cork until it escapes out the other side. Begin to pump, increasing the quantity of air between the wine and the cork.

The more you pump, the higher the pressure will become. This will slowly and gradually force the cork out of the bottle. 

Push The Cork Down

This is a method that many people resort to when they realize they do not have a corkscrew. Grab a long, thin implement such as a wooden spoon and use the handle to gently but firmly press down on the top of the cork. 

This will force the cork to travel down through the neck of the bottle until it is released into the wider body. This is not a method that everyone likes as the cork ultimately ends up in the wine, but it is very effective. 

This method is slightly difficult and may take a little while, but always produces results. Be aware that the wine may spill a little due to the pressure. The cork bobs about in the liquid, meaning that pouring is not as elegant. 

Scissors

This is a more dangerous method to use, but can be effective if done correctly. You should only do this if you are sober as it is very easy for you to injure yourself.

Open the scissors so that the blades are apart, and push one of them deep into the center of the wine cork.

Hold the scissors at the handle, taking care not to grasp the exposed blade. Gradually begin to rotate the scissor handles, lifting slightly with each rotation. This should slowly begin to remove the cork from your wine bottle. 

Shoe

This method gained a lot of internet popularity a while ago, and with good reason. It is an unorthodox but highly effective method, and all you need is a shoe!

You will need to remove any wrappings that are around the cork before you start so that the cork can freely escape the bottle. Place the base of the wine bottle inside the shoe, near to the back.

Hold it securely in place and hit the sole of the shoe firmly against a wall a few times. You will notice the cork slowly escaping the bottle with each hit.

When the cork is close to coming out we advise using your fingers to pull it, as continued hits will throw wine everywhere. 

Slap

To use this method, you need some strong thighs. Turn the bottle upside down and place it in between your thighs. This tends to be easier when wearing shorts or naked from the waist down.

The contact between the glass and your skin will provide additional grip and prevent the wine bottle from falling out from between your legs. 

Use your hands, a shoe, a book, or any other hard surface, to slap the base of the wine bottle. You will notice the cork becoming looser and eventually you will be able to pull it out using your hands. 

Slicing 

We have all seen the videos of gorgeous women and smartly dressed men slicing open bottles of champagne using a ceremonial sword. This is an alternative way to open wine bottles if you do not have a corkscrew, but it can be dangerous.

Not only can you injure someone with the sword, but small glass particles may enter the liquid if the cut is not clean. 

Towel And Wall 

This method works in the same way as the shoe method. Instead of using a shoe, the base of the wine bottle is wrapped in a towel to provide cushioning.

This will prevent the bottle from smashing or denting the wall as you hit it. This will work with any hard surface.

Emma Miller
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