How To Open Bottle Of Wine Without Opener

Opening a bottle of wine without the right opener can seem like a daunting task, but fear not, fellow oenophiles! I’ve run into this predicament more times than I care to admit, and through a …

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Opening a bottle of wine without the right opener can seem like a daunting task, but fear not, fellow oenophiles! I’ve run into this predicament more times than I care to admit, and through a process of experimentation, I’ve discovered several imaginative solutions to tackle this issue.

The Classic Corkscrew Alternative

One of the most reliable methods is using a classic corkscrew alternative, such as a screw and a pair of pliers. This method requires a bit of strength and precision, but it can be highly effective.

To begin, find a long screw (preferably around 2 inches in length) and carefully screw it into the cork using a screwdriver. Make sure the screw goes deep enough into the cork to provide a firm grip. Next, grab a pair of pliers and firmly hold onto the screw. Slowly but firmly start to pull upwards, using the leverage created by the pliers to remove the cork. Be cautious while doing this, as you don’t want the cork to break and fall into the bottle.

Once you have successfully removed the cork, pour the wine into a decanter or a glass, being mindful of any remnants of cork that may have entered the bottle. Cheers!

The Shoe Method

If you don’t have a screw and pliers handy, fear not – there’s another clever technique you can try, which involves using a shoe. Yes, you heard that right, a shoe!

To get started, place the bottom of the wine bottle into the recessed area of a sturdy shoe, such as a sneaker or a boot. Make sure the bottle is securely positioned in the shoe. Next, gently but firmly tap the heel of the shoe against a solid surface, such as a wall or the floor. The goal is to create enough force to push the cork out of the bottle.

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Be patient and tap the shoe against the surface repeatedly until you notice the cork starting to emerge. Once the cork is partially out, you can carefully remove it by hand, being cautious of any potential spraying of the wine. Voila! You’ve successfully opened the bottle without an opener.

The Push and Twist Method

If you don’t have access to any tools or shoes, you can resort to the trusty push and twist method. This technique requires a bit of finesse and may take some practice to master.

Begin by folding a towel or using a cloth to protect your hand from potential injury. Firmly hold the neck of the bottle with one hand while using your other hand to apply direct downward pressure on the cork. With the pressure applied, gently twist the bottle in a clockwise motion while continuing to exert downward force. The combination of pressure and twisting will gradually loosen the cork from the bottle’s neck.

Once the cork begins to move, you can use your hand to slowly and steadily pull it out of the bottle. Make sure to have a glass or decanter ready to catch any wine that might escape during the process.


Opening a bottle of wine without an opener may seem like an impossible task at first, but with a little ingenuity and creativity, it can be done. Next time you find yourself without an opener, give one of these methods a try and impress your friends with your resourcefulness. Just remember to proceed with caution, as there is always a risk of injury or spillage. Cheers to enjoying a glass of wine, no matter the circumstances!

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John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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