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10 ridiculous ways to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew

Here are 10 ways you can remove a cork from a wine bottle when you get caught short.

It’s Friday night and the bottle of wine you’ve been saving all week is calling your name. The glass is ready to go, but wait. Where on earth is the corkscrew? How does one possibly own such a nice wine but not a corkscrew that gives access to said delicious wine?

Whatever the reason you don’t have a corkscrew, don’t put the wine away just yet. the drinks business is here to help with a range of borderline absurd methods to get that wine open, no corkscrew required. Who doesn’t like a challenge anyway?

Before you get started, maybe just double-check that the wine bottle doesn’t have a screwcap and it’s not a simple twist job – this might save a lot of potential mess.

The one where you get the tools out

Once you’ve rescued your hammer and screw out of the dusty tool box, you essentially want to stick the screw into the wine, and use the ‘claw’ of the hammer to fish it out. If you have one, a screwdriver is even better as it provides a firmer and more precise removal.

The one with the wooden spoon

This method isn’t the most classy, but it definitely has results. Using the end of a wooden spoon you’ll want to slowly push the cork into the wine bottle. This can be a bit messy so make sure your worktop is clear and your favourite shirt is being protected. Once the cork is in, it stays. This is fine if it’s a plastic cork but if it is actual cork, it can sometimes ‘shed’ and you end up with bits of cork in the wine. If this happens, strain the wine with a sieve. Again, not the most ideal method but if it’s your only option and it’s been a long week, I’m not here to judge.

The one with a bit of string

The screwdriver is making a second appearance with this one. Make a hole in the cork with the screwdriver, get a piece of string and tie a knot in it at its end, and push it down the hole. You can then yank it out using the string. The yank is not to be underestimated, it needs a mighty pull for it to work.

The one with a wall and someone’s shoe

This is always a showstopper at parties (remember those?). Find a shoe that’s fairly flat and firm, place your wine bottle in the shoe, base first. With the shoe in place, whack the base of the wine and shoe against a hard wall and the cork will slowly ease its way out. Keep an eye on that before you give yourself an accidental wine shower.

The one with ONLY a shoe

The wall is left out for this one, where you place the wine between your thighs and slap the base with a shoe, book, or whatever works. The cork again will slowly come out and you can do the rest with your hands.

The one with a whole lot of pressure

Somehow, in this scenario you’re organised enough to have a bike pump but not a corkscrew. Anyway, wedge the pump into the cork and slowly start pumping. The air will enter the cork, and eventually enough pressure will build to bring the cork out.

The one with the car key

For this one, grab your car key and insert it into the cork, preferably at a 45 degree angle. Then twist the bottle, not the key, this isn’t your car believe it or not, to gradually pull the cork out.

The one with a knife

This method is NOT to be taken lightly and definitely not for someone who’s already had a drink. This is basically the same as the key method, but with the added thrill. Stab a serrated knife into the cork and then wiggle the knife out.

The one where you go fishing

For this method, grab a wire hanger and be ready to sacrifice it. Bend the tip of it and try to create a 30 degree angle so that it looks a bit like a fish hook.Then, alongside the cork, slide the wire down and rotate it so the hook sinks to the cork’s base, and then pull it up! Dinner is served!

The one with the scissors 

Please be careful of this one, but if you’re feeling brave, spread the blades apart and stick one into the cork. Then, holding the scissors with the handle, twist and pull and eventually the cork will begin to be set free.

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