How to Open Wine Without a Corkscrew

How to Open Wine Without A Corkscrew

Imagine this – you’re in the middle of a cosy dinner date in your home, and you’ve ordered a great bottle of wine from the best online wine shop you could find. Now, it’s time to pop the wine, and you realise there’s no corkscrew. It’s a familiar horror story, like going all the way to the store and realising you left your debit card.

Popping a wine bottle is traditionally done with a corkscrew, so it can be frazzling to imagine having to open one without it. However, there are quite a number of unconventional alternatives to corkscrews. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to open wine without a corkscrew, this article will highlight seven ingenious methods.

Note that these methods might be ineffective depending on the cork or bottle type. Accidents can occur using these methods if you are not extremely careful. Therefore, if you’re trying to open an exceptional wine, it might be worth the time and effort to get a new corkscrew. Alternatively, go through the methods in this article to figure out safer options for your wine.

7 Ways to Open Wine Without a Corkscrew

When faced with using some other instrument to open a wine bottle, our primary concern is accidentally breaking the bottle or getting cork debris in the wine. However, if you carefully use these methods on our list, you are guaranteed to get a debris-free wine with the bottle intact. Our list includes methods that would require household items and other tool-free methods. We’ve included seven different ways you’re sure to find one (or two, or three!) that’ll be ideal for your situation.

The Screw/Screwdriver Method

If you ever need to open wine without a corkscrew and have a toolbox close by, you most likely have nothing to worry about. Get a screw (preferably a big and long one) from your toolbox and push it into the cork. Gently screw it down with a screwdriver until just an inch of the screw is left.

Now, as the screw is secured tightly into the cork, it’s time to pull it out. To avoid slipping, wrap the wine bottle with a thick cloth or a towel and place it between your legs. Latch the claw of a hammer to the head of the screw and gently pull until the cork comes off. You could also use a plier to pull the cork with the screw. This simple method guarantees you a clean and debris-free wine.

Alternatively, you can use anything that resembles a screw and can be twisted inside the cork.

The Car Keys Method

Using your car keys is another simple hack to opening your wine bottle. So, if there’s no toolbox, have no worries, as your car keys can save the day.

Firstly, take off the wrapper/foil at the top of the wine bottle to reveal the bottle cork. Push your car key into the cork from an angle (it’s best to put the car key near the edge of the cork and push it in diagonally). When the key is secured in the cork, start to rotate the key and pull it out slowly, turning the bottle in the counter direction to the key’s rotation. The cork will come off after a few seconds of twisting and turning.

This method also works with a serrated knife or any small knife. Place the blade at an angle and twist until the cork comes off.

The Wooden Spoon Method

If you do not mind your cork being inside your wine bottle, this is a super easy method. To use this method, place a wooden spoon with a thin handle on the cork and hit it until it falls into the bottle. Alternatively, you could also use any other blunt instrument that resembles a thin wooden spoon handle. The effectiveness of this method depends on the sort of cork in the wine bottle. With some corks, this method may not be effective.

The Wall Method

So let’s say you don’t have a corkscrew, a toolbox, wooden spoon, or car keys; there’s still hope in sight if you can find a wall. First off, take off the foil or wrapper to reveal the cork. Then wrap the base and sides of the wine bottle in a towel to cushion it. Next, with the bottle horizontal, gently hit the bottom against the wall repeatedly.

Ensure the towel is thick enough to cushion the bottle properly. After a few hits, you’d see the cork start coming out of the bottle. Continue to hit the bottle against the wall until the cork is out or almost entirely out. If the cork is almost off, pull it off with your hands and enjoy a glass of your favourite wine.

Alternatively, if you do not have towels, you can place the base of the wine bottle inside a soft padded shoe and hut against the wall until the cork comes off. A book will also achieve the same results if you do not have a soft shoe or towels.

If there are no walls where you are, or if you are careful not to dent your walls, a tree would also suffice for this hack. Simply place the wine bottle in a shoe or wrap it in a towel and continue to hit it against the tree trunk until the cork comes off.

The Other Shoe Method

So if there’s no corkscrew in sight, and there’s also no toolbox, car keys, or wooden spoon, your shoe can do another trick. Place the wine bottle upside down between your legs and pad the base with a towel. Next, proceed to hit the bottom of the bottle continually with a flat shoe. 

Occasionally check the bottle to see how far out the cork is. You don’t want the cork coming off in that position, as it would cause your drink to spill. When the cork is almost off the bottle, turn it back up and pop the cork with your hands.

The Bike Pump Method

This method is a bit overboard, but it works. If the other methods don’t appeal to you, or you simply want to try this nifty trick, plug your bike pump needle into your wine cork. Push in the needle until it comes out at the end of the cork just above the wine line.

Apply pressure from the bike pump, and watch the cork fly off almost immediately. Turn your wine into a glass and enjoy a debris-free wine.

The Wire Hanger Method

Using this risk-free method may require sacrificing one of your wire hangers in your wardrobe. To use this method, straighten the hanger and bend back the tip until it resembles a fishhook. Now, push this part into the bottle (between the bottle and the cork) until the curved tip can be seen under the cork inside the bottle.

Then, rotate the hanger until the curved part hooks the cork from below. Pull out the hanger, and the cork will pop out.


They say necessity is the mother of all inventions. This article is a testament to that. With these seven brilliant (and whimsical) methods, you never have to worry when you find that you do not have a corkscrew handy. Although corkscrews remain the most efficient, proper, and risk-free way to open your wine bottle, these alternatives may come in handy.

If you’re at an event, desperately wondering how to open wine without a corkscrew, we hope this article was of help. While the methods are a tad outlandish, they work when they’re done right.

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