Picture this: you bought a bottle of interesting-and-tasty-looking wine earlier in the day, looking forward to sharing it with someone special later in the evening. Now, the evening has arrived, and you can’t find a corkscrew ANYWHERE. (It was definitely in the drawer… you think….)
So what do you do? Do you get out your trusty sword and chop the neck of the bottle off like a YouTube star? Hold a flame to the neck until the cork pops out? Wrap yourself in blankets and cry? No!!! You know how to open the bottle SAFELY without glass in your wine or crippling depression (because of this post!).
This is obvious, but before you try any of these suggestions, make sure your bottle doesn’t have a twist-cap. If it does, twist and go!
If not, here are 5 ways to get that cork out:
1. Push it in.
It’s usually easier to push the cork into the bottle with something blunt than it is to try to pull it out with something that wasn’t designed for that purpose. Try using the handle of a wooden spoon; tap it lightly with a rubber mallet, meat tenderizer, rolling pin, or whatever’s handy. Once the cork is inside the bottle floating in the wine, pour!
2. Break out the toolbox.
Two options. For the first, you’ll need a good-sized screw. Using a screwdriver, carefully(!) screw it into the cork, leaving a little sticking out the top. Use the claw end of a hammer as a lever to pull it (and the cork) out. OR use a power drill and drill down into the middle of the cork (be careful not to hit the bottle!). Use the drill itself to pull out the cork.
3. The Hook Method.
This one takes some muscle… but you know you have one of those hooks with a screw at the other end around somewhere. Find it, and screw it into the cork. Put a wooden spoon handle through the hook to form a “T”. Twist this clockwise and pull on the cork, while turning the bottle the opposite direction. With some work, you can get the cork out, as long as the hook doesn’t tear the cork. If it does, try the power drill.
4. Use a bike pump.
Use a bicycle pump with a basketball attachment. Insert the needle down the side of the cork, then pump until the cork starts raising out of the bottle. You can then either keep pumping until the cork pops out and flies across the room, or you can use some pliers to pull the cork the rest of the way out.
5. If all else fails: The Desperation Method.
If you don’t have ANY of the tools listed above, there is one thing you probably do have: a shoe. Take it off of your foot. Take the foil off of the top of the wine bottle. Insert the base of the bottle into the shoe and hold it there. Then, find a wall, tree, or something sturdy and start hitting the heel of the shoe against it. (You’re basically using the rubber sole of the shoe to cushion the bottom of the glass bottle.) After multiple hits, the cork should start to pop out of the top of the bottle. It actually works!
By now, you should have your wine bottle open so you can enjoy it. If not, I guess go for the YouTube sword method.5