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How to Open a Wine Bottle without a Corkscrew

There’s nothing worse than grabbing a nice bottle of wine and realizing you don’t have a corkscrew. Don’t panic—we’re going to help you get into that sucker.


  • Step 1: Screw it Stick a screw into the cork.
  • Step 2: Turn it With either your hands or a screwdriver, screw it into the cork until there’s only about half an inch sticking out.
  • Step 3: Pull it With pliers or the back of a hammer, grab the top of the screw and carefully pull it—and the cork—out of the bottle.
  • TIP: If you have none of these items, work a pocket or paring knife into the cork instead. Using the same principle, twist it and pull up, slowly working the blade—and cork—out.
  • Step 4: Wrap the base If you have nothing other than your bare hands—you’re on a desert island with nothing but a good bottle of cabernet (hey, it could happen!)—take some material, like a towel or a piece of clothing, and wrap the base of the bottle.
  • Step 5: Find a smooth surface Now find the smoothest vertical surface you can. A wall is ideal—a tree will do.
  • Step 6: Pound it Holding the bottle horizontally, gently hit the wrapped base against the vertical surface again and again. As the wine sloshes back and forth, it will slowly drive the cork out far enough for you to pull it out the rest of the way.
  • TIP: Of course, take great care not to break the bottom of the bottle.
  • Step 7: Cheers! Pour yourself a big glass, assuming you have one—you’ve earned it!
  • FACT: Eighty-five percent of the world's wine corks come from Portugal.

You Will Need

  • A screw
  • Pliers or a hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • A pocket or paring knife
  • A towel

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