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How To Open A Wine Bottle With Or Without Corkscrew

There are many ways to open a wine bottle with or without a corkscrew. If you find yourself in a situation where a corkscrew isn't present, but your craving for a nice chardonnay is, we have some great options to help you get into your bottle with simple tools you can find around your home or neighborhood.

How To Open A Bottle Of Wine With Or Without Corkscrew

Sometimes wine pairs perfectly with a moment in your life. Whether you’re celebrating a new home, relaxing after a hard day of work, or heading out for a romantic picnic, wine is the perfect accompaniment.

Unfortunately, just because you have wine with you, or access to buy it, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find a corkscrew to open the bottle. That lack of equipment shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your vino, so we’ve put together a list of unique and clever ways to learn how to open a wine bottle with or without a corkscrew.

The Old Fashion Way


 We’re going to start with advice for novice wine openers. There are several types of corkscrews you can find to open your bottle, but not all are created equal. You have any variety of corkscrews from basic manual styles like the waiter’s corkscrew to automatic electric bottle openers that take no work from you at all.

Some of the most common styles of corkscrew include the following:

  • Winged
  • Lever
  • Air pump
  • Screwpull
  • Twist
  • Electric

How To Open A Bottle With A Traditional Or Screwpull Corkscrew

opening a bottle

A traditional or screwpull corkscrew is a T-shape with the corkscrew being the bottom portion of the T and the handle being the top. To utilize this type of bottle opener, you’ll first need to grab your bottle of wine and pull off any coverings to reveal the cork.

Place point of the corkscrew on the center of the cork and press firmly to begin the inserting the corkscrew. Once you see that the tip is well inside the cork, begin twisting the corkscrew clockwise to insert it the rest of the way. Once the handle is touching, or nearly touching, the cork, you are ready to begin the removal process.

To remove the cork, continue to turn the corkscrew clockwise as you firmly pull up on the handle. You will begin to feel the cork give way, and when this happens, you should slow your pulling so that you do not end up rattling the bottle and shaking wine out onto yourself or anything or anyone around you.

With your cork safely removed from the bottle, you can untwist it from the corkscrew and stow it away. It’s finally time to enjoy your wine!

Without A Corkscrew

Without a Corkscrew

When you aren’t in a position to use a corkscrew, or when you simply forget yours at home, there are plenty of other clever ways to open your favorite bottle of wine. We should warn you, some of these methods have the potential to mess with your wine if not performed flawlessly, so make sure you follow our instructions to a T.

Even if you perform every step beautifully, not all equipment or corks are created equal, so you may end up with some cork in your wine or even breaking the bottle. We are warning you so that you can take precautions against these accidents, but in a pinch, these opening techniques are great to know!

Opening A bottle With A Drill

Opening a bottle with a drill

So you just moved into your new home. You’re sitting on boxes, eating takeout, and staring at your celebratory bottle of wine. You think to yourself how will I ever find the corkscrew in this chaos, when you look over to find a power drill sitting safely atop your toolbox, ready to hang photos, mirrors, and more. 

Sure, a power drill isn’t technically a corkscrew and may not be the traditional way how to open a wine bottle, but in a pinch, it can really work much the same way! Note: this method can also work with a manual screwdriver if you don’t have access to a drill, but it will take a little extra elbow grease on your part.

To start, grab your drill with a drill bit in place or screwdriver and a long screw, the longer, the better. Begin to insert the screw slowly into the cork. You can insert it at a slight angle for better leverage, but be extra careful not to drill too far and hit the glass bottleneck in the process.

You will want to continue to insert the screw until about a half inch is left out. If you are using a drill and drill bit, you can simply pull back on the drill the same way you did in the manual method. You may have to turn the whole drill occasionally or wiggle it back and forth to get the cork to loosen at first.

If you are using a manual screwdriver, you will want to set that down and grab a hammer. You will use the back of the hammer to remove the screw and cork as if you are trying to remove a nail from a wall. Be extra careful with this method. You may want to place something between the hammer and bottleneck for protection.

Congratulations! You have officially mastered the easiest non-corkscrew wine bottle opening method. Now you have both an effective way on how to open a wine bottle in a pinch, and a cool party trick to show your friends.

Opening A bottle With A Drill

How to use a shoe to open your wine

That’s right; we’re using a shoe this time around, preferably a tennis shoe or something else with a thick sole to protect your bottle. This is one of the more scientific, but dangerous ways of removing a cork that we’ll talk about. Please take extra care not to ruin your shoes or your wine using this method.

In this technique, you’ll utilize a hard surface in addition to the shoe to get the job done. Generally, a tree, brick wall, or another similar spot will yield the best results. To begin, insert your wine bottle into your shoe so that the bottom of the bottle rests on the sole of the shoe. Then secure the bottle as best you can with the laces.

Next, you will begin to bang the sole of the shoe where the bottle rests against the wall. The science behind this method says that you are pressurizing the bottle, and with consistency, will cause the cork to begin to pop out. Do not wait until the cork is completely out to stop the process, or you risk a wine disaster.

Once you see that the cork is out far enough to grab it with your fingers or a set of pliers, whichever you have available, you should stop banging it against the hard surface and instead pull the cork out the rest of the way manually to avoid spilling or bottle breakage.

How To Open Wine With An Air Pump

How to open wine with an air pump

There probably aren’t a lot of scenarios where you have full access to an air pump, but no corkscrew. Still, we think this method is fairly simple, and since wine emergencies can happen anywhere, it’s best to be prepared.

All you will need to do for this method is to grab your wine bottle and your air pump, complete with needle attachment (the one you would use to blow up basketballs, etc.). You will then insert the needle as deep into the cork as it will go. Once the needle is secure in the cork, you can begin to pump air through the needle.

As you pump the air, science takes over once again, applying pressure from the inside of the bottle to force the cork up and out. You should be aware in this method that you could end up in a champagne-like situation with the cork. So be prepared for air pressure to build quickly and for the cork to fly out.

As a safety precaution, we suggest using safety glasses, and probably not wearing white, just in case.

Other Methods

We’ve talked about several ways to get your wine opened and ready for consumption with or without a corkscrew, but there are plenty more methods out there if you’re not satisfied with just these. For instance, you could use keys or a thin knife as a corkscrew in a pinch, but those methods can be messy and dangerous.

Many of the techniques you will find online have some potential dangers associated with them, or at the very least will end up with you staring sadly into your cork infested wine bottle. Not all alternate corkscrew methods are foolproof either, so be prepared for accidents to happen, as they sometimes do.

If you're very desperate to drink and not equipped to handle power tools or shoes, it may be a good idea just to pop your cork into your bottle. You'll never get it out, but at least it won't be in the way of your good time. You can do this with any wooden spoon or similar object. Even a stick you find lying around.

Final Thoughts

Wine pairs well with various moments in our lives. Whether or not you are in arm’s reach of a corkscrew shouldn’t put a damper on that pairing. We hope you enjoyed learning about the variety of new and fun ways you can open your wine bottle. Remember to be careful, follow directions, and prepare for accidents always.