5 Ways To Open A Wine Bottle Without A Corkscrew In Sight

Many people are familiar with the joy a quality wine can bring to any social event. Whether you're bringing your favorite bottle of Chardonnay to a small dinner party or popping open a bottle of champagne at a large, outdoor celebration, this popular alcoholic beverage pairs excellently with an array of dishes. But when your party does not have a corkscrew at hand, it can make the task of opening a bottle of wine with whatever you have lying around quite arduous.  

Don't worry if you're ever in this scenario, as dropping everything to go to the grocery store isn't your only option. There are other ways you can safely open a corked bottle that don't involve utilizing a fancy wine opener. In fact, you can even open a wine bottle with a knife and fork. The following five methods utilize common kitchen or household items that are likely to be in your vicinity. Use these tips whenever you find yourself without a corkscrew and are in a pinch.

Twist off the cork using a house key

If there's one thing you're likely to have on you every time you go out, it'll probably be your house key. While this metal instrument might only seem useful to unlock your front door, you can actually use it to open a bottle of wine. After getting rid of the foil covering the top of your bottle, carefully jab your key into the center of the cork at about a 45-degree angle. Avoid stabbing your house key straight into your cork, as doing it at an angle will give you more leverage to open up the bottle. 

Once you've pushed your key in as far as you can, begin to rotate the key, and pull it upwards as you go. Keep doing this until you've exposed a good chunk of the cork, then finish the job by just pulling the rest out of the bottle. Roughly stabbing your key into a tough cork can result in the key snapping, so don't lock yourself out of your building and err on the side of caution when using this method.

Push the cork into the bottle with a blunt object

This party trick only requires a blunt object that can fit through the neck of the bottle. In the context of a dining or party situation, the slim, sturdy handles of most cutlery are what you'll likely have at your disposal, but the handle of a wooden cooking spoon is also perfect. Regardless of what you find, just position the blunt object over the cork and begin to slowly push it into the bottle. Don't slam the cork either, as you could easily end up breaking the bottle and injuring yourself if you're not careful.

There are also some downsides to this hack. If you're dealing with a particularly frail cork, you might end up breaking the cork and getting cork crumbs everywhere. These bits won't pose a threat to your health or ruin the actual wine they'll now be swimming in, but trying to fish them out of the bottle or as you take a sip of your drink will definitely sour your experience. You also won't be able to save the cork, in case you're into collecting them. 

Get your toolbox out to create a makeshift corkscrew

You definitely get a little more creative and involved with this particular method, as it requires you to take out a screw, a screwdriver, and a hammer. With caution, gently twist a long screw (again, at an angle) into the cork sealing your bottle of wine. You don't want to go with small ones in this situation, as the longer variants will be able to grab onto more of the cork once you begin to pull. Leave a bit of the screw head exposed as well, as you'll need it to remove the cork.

Once you're done inserting the screw into your cork, grab your hammer and use its claw to slowly pry the screw out of the bottle. If all goes well, the cork should come off with it, and you'll have an open bottle of wine to enjoy. Don't be heavy when performing this motion, as one bad move could result in your hammer slamming into your bottle — or (worse yet) your hand.

Pop open that bottle with scissors

Almost every household has at least one pair of scissors lying around. Much like the key trick, you can stab one of the scissor blades at an angle into the cork to carefully pry it out. Insert one blade at an angle, push it in as far as you can, and then slowly rotate it and pull the cork up. You do have to worry about the possibility of injury with scissors should you choose to go this route, so exercise extreme caution and keep your fingers away from the path of your scissor's blade.

There's also the infamous kitchen shear hack to open wine bottles, which sees you utilizing the rough, serrated section near the handles to pry off that pesky cork off your bottle. You'd typically only use this section of your kitchen shears as a nutcracker, but in a pinch, it can also provide a tough grip on any cork. This particular hack only works with wines whose corks are jutting out of the bottle top, so switch to the stab method if you can't get a hold of the cork this way.

Take off your shoe and slam it against the wall

It sounds ludicrous, but it works. Place your bottle into a shoe, raise it against a wall, and start tapping it. The footwear will act as a barrier that will prevent your bottle from shattering, and the force from your taps will eventually force the cork to (slowly) inch its way out of the bottle. This way of opening a wine bottle takes considerably more time than the tricks mentioned above, on top of being potentially unhygienic and certainly dirty to your wall, so don't make this your first option.

The shoe you utilize for this trick matters tremendously. Try to pick footwear with a flat base and a regular to tall-sized collar, as this will help keep your bottle from toppling over as you start to hit the wall with it. You also don't want to use footwear with a cushioned sole, as it'll absorb the force from your taps that should otherwise eventually pop off the cork. No flip-flops, heels, or running shoes, essentially.