Opening a bottle of wine is not something that everyone can do. No matter how hard someone tries, removing a cork from a bottle just seems to be a skill that only the finest sommelier can do well. But what if you can actually do it with a few tips and tricks? And if you’ve always used a corkscrew but find yourself in a situation where one is nowhere to be found, can you still open that bottle?
If you’re looking for tips and tricks to opening a wine bottle with a regular corkscrew and a few unusual ways to open one, then you’ve found the perfect place.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the simplest way to open a bottle with a reliable corkscrew and a few tricks when you can’t find one.
How to Open a Bottle of Wine Using a Corkscrew
For the purpose of this section, we’ll be referring to a typical waiter’s corkscrew when we talk about the tips on uncorking a bottle of wine. A waiter’s corkscrew is a pull-tap way of opening, with a 2 -step lever, a thin screw or spiral, and a serrated foil cutter. It is the most common corkscrew available and can easily be found in any grocery store or on Amazon.
Are you ready to begin? Let’s start with the first step:
Step 1: Hold the neck of the bottle. The neck is the thinnest part of the bottle. Simply hold it for support.
Step 2: Remove the foil. Use the serrated foil cutter on the corkscrew to cut the foil under the bottle’s lower lip. Cut the foil completely around the neck. Remove the foil completely. Otherwise, as you pour the wine over the remaining foil, it will add a metallic taste.
Step 3: Insert the screw’s tip or spiral into the middle of the cork. Do not insert it completely. Make sure there’s at least one spiral visible closest to the lever.
Step 4: Rotate the screw clockwise about 6 to 7 times. Do it slowly to avoid the crumbling of the cork.
Step 5: Push down the levers and slowly pull the cork loose. Do not completely pull it out. When the cork gets loose, wiggle it and gently pull it out by using your hand.
When the cork is out, wipe the lip of the bottle for any residue or cork pieces. If you’re opening an old bottle of wine, it must be noted that the cork may crumble easily, so you must be gentle in executing these steps. Once the cork has loosened up and you can get a grip of it with your hand, simply pull the cork out.
If for some reason, some of the cork crumbles and gets inside the wine, there may be no way of getting it out. Simply filter the wine using a coffee filter as you pour it over a glass. If you don’t have a coffee filter, you can also use a strainer or a clean piece of muslin.
How to Uncork a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew
Can you open a wine bottle without a corkscrew? Why, of course, you can! With a few tips and tricks, and objects found in a regular home, opening a bottle can be as easy as 1-2-3.
- Using a Key
You can use a regular house key to open a wine bottle. These are ideal for wooden corks or synthetic ones. Prepare a piece of clothing and a key. At a 45-degree angle, Insert the key on one side of the cork. Point the tip of the key towards the middle of the cork. Wrap the key with the piece of clothing so you can force it down the cork. Once it’s completely inside, move it in a circular motion while lifting it a bit. The purpose is to move the cork and make it loose. Once it starts moving, slowly lift the cork upward, and voila, you’ve opened the bottle.
- Using a Lighter
Yes, you can use a lighter to open a wine bottle. The trick is to use heat to cause the air inside the bottle to expand. When this happens, the cork will naturally push upward.
Do not do this method with a chilled bottle. Otherwise, by applying heat, the chilled bottle will explode and you’ll waste a perfectly good bottle of wine.
To use a lighter, apply the flame on the neck of the bottle, just below where the cork is found.
Rotate the heat around the bottle’s neck. In about one minute or two, the cork will naturally push itself upward.
- Using a Shoe
Yes, a shoe can be a great tool to help you uncork a bottle of wine. Place the bottle inside a shoe with good cushioning. Place it on the heel, standing up. While holding both the shoe and the bottle, strike them together on a thick wall. After repeated strikes, the cork should loosen up and you can pull it out using your hand.
You can also place the bottle upside down between your legs. Make sure the base of the bottle is facing you. With a shoe, strike the base of the bottle until the cork gets loose. Make sure the cork does not completely come off or you’ll find your floor flooded with the contents of the bottle you wished to serve.
- Using a Bike Pump
Our list is getting more unusual with things you can use to uncork a bottle of wine, but honestly, these things work like a charm. If you have a bike pump with a needle attached to it, insert the needle into the cork and make sure the needle reaches the area inside the bottle where it’s exposed to the air between the cork and the wine.
Pump air into the bottle of wine and the cork will naturally come out due to the air pressure.
While the simplest and most risk-free way of uncorking a bottle of wine might be a corkscrew, it doesn’t mean you can’t open one without it. Simple things around you can be used to remove a cork from a bottle. Though they’re not 100% foolproof, and some can even cause your bottle to break if not done correctly, these are alternative means of opening a bottle when you don’t have access to a reliable corkscrew.