I remember from my days in college that my friends and I would often find ourselves with a bottle of wine and no wine bottle opener. It was then that I first had to learn how to overcome this problem, and while these are not life saving skills, they have definitely come in handy over the years. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can open a bottle of wine when you find yourself without a corkscrew.
This is one of the easiest ways to open a bottle of wine since all you need is a shoe and a hard surface, such as a wall or the floor. Place the bottle in the shoe with the bottom of the bottle resting at the heel of the shoe and gently tap the shoe against the surface while holding it in place until the corks start to move. You can remove it by hand before it entirely comes out to ensure that wine does not spill everywhere. Keep in mind that if you use too much power, the bottle may break.
This is similar to the shoe method, except with towels instead of shoes. It's a little risky, but if you're cautious, it should be fine. Prepare by gathering a few thick towels or blankets. Wrap the towel over the bottom of the bottle and tap it against the wall gently until the cork is nearly out. To avoid staining the cloth, remove the cork with your hand.
This is the safest and more efficient method to open a wine bottle but it only works if you’re in a house. Unless you tend to carry a screwdriver, a screw and a hammer with you. To open the bottle, insert the screw into the cork; the longer the screw, the easier it will be to open the bottle; continue until just half an inch of the screw is sticking out. Then, using the hammer, gently pull on the screw, as if you were removing a nail. The cork should be able to come out without breaking.
This isn't the easiest method because it requires a little more manual strength. It's a safe and foolproof way to remove a cork, although you'll have to say goodbye to the hanger. To begin, unwind the hanger and tightly rewind it around the bottle to make a cylindrical shape, similar to a corkscrew. Then, insert the wire into the cork and gently pull it out of the bottle. If you want, you can wrap a cloth around the hanger, to have a better grip.
It would be wiser to use a key that you don’t need or one that you have an extra copy of, because there is a possibility that the key can break. In order to open the wine bottle insert the key in a 45 degree angle in the cork, until most of it is in the cork. Then, start twisting the cork upwards until you remove it.
This is one of the best options because there is zero chance of damaging the cork but it still is risky and you should be very careful because it involves fire. Tilt the lighter, or the bottle, in a way that the flame is in contact with the neck of the bottle, just below the cork. The heat will cause the air to expand and the cork will be pushed upwards. Be sure to rotate the bottle or change the placement of the lighter to make sure that you’re heating all the air. It won’t be more than a couple of minutes before the cork begins to rise out of the wine bottle.
If you don’t have a corkscrew but there is a bike pump at hand then you’re in luck. In order to open the bottle, place the needle of the pump between the cork and the rim of the bottle and pump a couple of times. The cork will jump out and you will be able to remove it by hand. Be careful though because if you pump more than necessary the bottle might break.
This is a last-ditch option in case everything else fails. If you can’t get the cork out, then you can push it in. If the cork has been damaged then you will probably be able to push it in with your finger. Otherwise, you can use a marker, or a pen to push it in. To ensure that there are no residual fragments of cork in glass, run the wine through the Phoenix. Not only will you not have cork fragments in your wine glass, the wine will be histamine and sulfite free.