6 Ways to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew

Open bottle of wine without corkscrew or bottle opener.
Stranded on an island? How to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

You’re screwed. Or rather, you’re not. You’ve misplaced your corkscrew, and you’ve got a perfectly chilled bottle of wine sitting on the counter. Before you get mad, get creative. A corkscrew isn’t the only thing you can use to get the nectar of the gods out of the bottle. Here are 6 creative ways to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

Don’t be a tool.

But grab them! You can use a drill, screwdriver, or even a hammer to knock the cork loose. Drill into the cork slightly, just enough to get the drill bit or screw embedded in the cork. Once your bit is snug give it a good yank! It might take a few tugs, but the cork will come loose! If technology isn’t your thing, try it with a trusty screwdriver and hammer. With a screwdriver, tap it in with the hammer, and use the claw to pull the screwdriver, with the cork attached, up and out. Everyone can be a handyman when the stakes are high!

Pump it out.

If you’ve got a bike or like to toss a football around now and again, chances are you have an air pump hiding in your garage, shed, or basement. Treat your cork as the little nub that sticks out of the tire, or the air hole on your football or basketball. Amp up the pressure by pumping air into the cork, but stand clear! Once there is enough pressure in the bottle, the cork will shoot right out of the top. Your cork will take flight and you can get to drinking.

Give it a good smack.

There it is, a gorgeous bottle of Chardonnay sitting right in front of you, but the stupid cork is hindering your night. Use your rage to smack that cork loose, and start pouring the vino. Use those power thighs and a hard-soled shoe to slap it out. Place the bottle upside down in between your legs and squeeze it tight. Take the hard sole of your shoe to the bottom of the bottle and whack the cork loose. When it’s far enough out of the bottle, give it a good tug and take a chug for all your hard work!

String it up.

Tie a figure 8 knot into your string (because an 8 looks like an infinity sign and wine is forever) and set it aside. Peel off your cork cover and tap the cork into the bottle, being careful not to spill any of the delicious adult grape juice inside. The cork should be fairly high in the bottle. Slip the string into the neck of the bottle, knot down first. With a bit of skill and maneuvering, you can get the knot below the cork with the string still sticking out of the top. Pull the string taught, pushing the cork into the launch position with the knot. Yank on the string pointed away from your face. Love hurts, but you want to be able to see the wine. The cork should come flying out with the string in tow. Be careful not to spill!

You’ve got the key.

Usually, we’d tell you to hide your keys if you plan on drinking an entire bottle, but this time your keys are…well the key! Everyone always says that you never use geometry after high school, but we’re here to prove them wrong. Shove your key into the cork at a 45° angle until it’s buried to the hilt. You might need to lean on the key to push it into the cork. Once it’s wedged into the cork, start to push the key around in a circle and pull up at the same time. It’s easier if you twist the bottle in the opposite direction that you’re twisting the key in as it helps the cork slip out. While you’re turning the key, the cork should begin to twist up and out of the bottle, freeing your wine.

Knock it in.

If you’re lazy, and you want a much easier route from bottle to glass, you can push the cork into the bottle. Take a pen, the head of a small screwdriver, or really anything that can fit into the neck of the bottle and tap the cork down. You can use a hammer to knock the cork in or push down hard on the end of a pen. No matter how you do it, the cork will slide into the bottle, and you’ll be able to enjoy your wine quickly. The problem arises when you push down too hard. Forcing the cork into the wine at a high speed will send your precious Cabernet Sauvignon into the air, soaking your clothes, and not your tongue.

No matter how you do it, remember to open the bottle safely. A broken bottle means wasted wine, cut fingers, and time to clean up the mess. Be smart, be safe, and get a little tipsy while you’re at it.

Written by Danielle Watson @DWatsonWriter