How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew

There are few things more frustrating than having a bottle of wine to share and no corkscrew to open it. Whether camping, picnicking, or boating, without a corkscrew, you might be, well, corkscrewed. Luckily, people with this same problem have discovered some creative ways to open a bottle of wine. Below, we’ve got several wine-bottle opening tips for you to avoid a vino catastrophe and enjoy that bottle!

The Wooden Spoon Technique

A wooden spoon is the only tool you need for this wine bottle opening hack! The spoon’s handle needs to be thin enough to fit inside the bottle’s neck. Here’s how this technique works:

  1. Remove the foil from over the cork.
  2. Have a friend hold tightly hold on to the bottle for you.
  3. Slowly but firmly push the cork down into the bottle. (It should stay in one piece.)
  4. Once the cork is all the way in and the neck is unblocked, slowly pour the wine into another container. A glass container with a large opening is best as the wine might gurgle and splash.

Tip: It’s best to finish the wine in one sitting since the cork won’t be coming back out. If the cork sits in your wine much longer than a few hours, it can ruin the flavor.

The Screw and Lever Technique

This technique works well, but you will need a screw, screwdriver, and a lever of some kind. (Most use a hammer but a prybar, vice-grip, or pliers work well also.) Here’s how to use this wine bottle opening hack:

  1. Remove the foil from over the cork.
  2. Using a screwdriver, drive a screw with a thick thread into the cork. Leave about ½ inch sticking out at the top. Also, make sure not to use a screw that’s longer than the cork. (You don’t want it going through and touching the wine!
  3. Use your lever of choice to pry the screw and cork out of the bottle slowly. It helps to have a friend hold on to the bottle while you do this to make sure you don’t spill any wine.

The Basketball Pump Technique

It’s probably unlikely that you have a ball pump but not a corkscrew, but we never know what circumstances will arise. So, if that happens to be you, stay tuned! This technique demands patience and dexterity (not brute force!) but works like a charm. It’s also a great science experiment about the force of air pressure! Here’s how a basketball pump can save the day and keep your wine glasses full:

  1. Insert the needle from your ball pump and push it firmly into the cork until it comes out the other end. Make sure you stay close to the center of the cork.
  2. Slowly but surely, pump the basketball pump until the air pressure forces the cork to start coming out the top of the bottle.
  3. When the cork is far enough to grab it, stop pumping and pull out the needle.
  4. Let the air pressure escape for a moment.
  5. Pull the cork out the rest of the way using your hands.
how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew

The Mulled Wine Technique

While it works well, this technique is not recommended for an expensive bottle of wine. The reason is you’ll be heating the wine. As all wine lovers know, heating high-quality, expensive wine is an affront to the wine gods. In winter, however, turning cheap wine into mulled wine is perfectly fine. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the foil from over the cork. (This seems to be a recurring theme.)
  2. Boil a small pot of water.
  3. Take the pot off the heat and put it safely on your kitchen counter.
  4. Insert the wine bottle.
  5. The cork will slowly rise as the wine heats up. (Another experiment about the expansion of gases!)
  6. Once the cork is far enough out, pull it out with your hand using a towel to hold the bottle.
  7. Dump the hot water.
  8. Put the wine in the pot and make some delicious mulled wine.

The Heck With It, Let’s Go to a Wine Bar Technique

This final technique is extremely simple and might even be more fun. Put your unopened bottle of wine aside and head out for a night at a delicious local wine bar! (Be sure to stop along the way to buy a corkscrew for next time!)

how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew

Final Wine-Filled Thoughts

We hope these techniques for how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew have been successful and allowed you to enjoy your vino. By the way, if you’ve got a wine collection and need to store it, iStorage is a great choice. Our temperature-controlled storage units will keep your wine at a stable temperature throughout the year. Plus, they’re secured by 24/7 video cameras and an onsite manager. It’s the safest, most convenient way to store a collection of delicious wine in Houston, Texas!