Corkscrew-less Hacks for Freeing Wine from the Bottle

Nothing puts a cork in the night like having a bottle of wine and no corkscrew. It’s a nightmare for both hosts and guests alike! After all, when there’s cheese to be plated and pasta to be served, wine is an absolute must. It’s also the perfect beverage for winding down after a long day at work.

Devoted wine drinkers might think: How can someone not own a corkscrew? It might seem shocking, but there are many situations that can leave you corkscrew-less. Maybe you’re on vacation and spontaneously bought a bottle. Or maybe you’re at a party hosted by someone who typically doesn’t drink wine at home. Or maybe you just moved into a new house and want to celebrate with a bottle of red, but can’t bother with unpacking.

As you can see, coming across a corkscrew-less situation is fairly easy. Instead of trekking to the store in the middle of dinner, try a few tried-and-true hacks. All you need is household items, elbow grease, and some dedication. Soon enough, you’ll be toasting the night away.

Safety First

Before trying these tips and tricks, carefully read the instructions. Observe the visual guide and understand each step. Basically, become familiar with the entire process from beginning to end. The items used in these techniques may be everyday items, but they’re not designed for uncorking wine bottles. Using caution will make sure the hack actually works. Most importantly, it will guarantee that everyone stays safe – including that beloved bottle of wine.

On that note, make sure no one is standing too close in case the bottle or tool slips. This includes children and pets, who may be a little too curious for their own good. Keep the area clear so you can work some magic.

Steak Knife of Key Method - Open Wine Without a Corkscrew

Method 1: Steak Knife or Key

Knives and keys are normal items; you probably have at least two or three at home. But when you don’t have a corkscrew, they can actually work like one. It’s all about how you move it.

The best knife to use is a serrated steak knife. If you’re already making a steak dinner, then you’re in luck. This kitchen utensil is capable of doing double duty. To start, remove the foil from the neck of the bottle and discard. Carefully insert the tip of the knife into the cork. This will be easier if you wiggle it back and forth. Continue working it into the cork for about one inch, then rotate the bottle while pulling the knife upward. The cork will gradually shimmy out.

No steak knife? No worries. A house key can be used in a similar way. Simply push it into the cork at a 45-degree angle, starting along the perimeter of the cork. Pierce the cork until you can push no longer. Tightly hold the key and twist the cork a few times, then continue twisting in an upward motion. Eventually, you’ll be able to pull the cork right out.

The Shoe Method - Open Wine Without a Corkscrew

Method 2: Shoe

Yes, you read that right. An ordinary shoe can turn the night around. However, for best results, don’t grab just any old shoe. Skip the soft athletic sneakers and high heels. Instead, use a shoe with a firm and flat sole.

This approach (literally) takes some leg work. After removing the foil, sit down in a sturdy chair. Save the couch time for later – you will need a lot of support! Plant your feet on the floor so that your knees form a 90-degree angle. Turn the wine bottle upside down and hold it in between your thighs. To keep it in place, squeeze your legs together and use your nondominant hand to grasp the bottle. Repeatedly hit the bottom of the bottle with the shoe’s sole. With every hit, the cork will gradually move out until you can remove it. Each strike should be strong, but don’t put in all your energy. Hitting too hard may cause the bottle to fall and break.

The Wall or Tree Method - Open Wine Without a Corkscrew

Not up for a thigh workout? We don’t blame you. Fortunately, a shoe can also be used against a wall or tree. If possible, opt for a brick or stone wall, unless you want to leave a trail of foot prints. Outside is also the safest bet.

Peel away the foil and discard. Place the bottle in the shoe. Again, don’t use a high heel or a very soft shoe. It should fit snugly, so you may have to try a few shoes before finding the perfect fit. Once the bottle is safe and sound, rest the shoe’s sole against a wall or tree. The bottle should create a 90-degree angle. Hold the bottle in place and repeatedly bang it against the wall. Each hit should be gentle, yet strong. Bit by bit, the cork will move enough so you can take it out.

Corkscrews might not cost much, but these hacks will save you a couple of bucks. Plus, if you are not an avid wine drinker, it might not be worth adding yet another utensil to your kitchen drawer. Instead, learn these tricks and keep them in mind. With a flick of a wrist – or a bang on the wall – you will become the life of the party.

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