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The best way to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew

roxlet Feb 3, 2014 09:00 AM

This is brilliant!


  1. h
    HillJ Feb 3, 2014 09:12 AM

    Love it! Have to try it now.

    1. h
      hazelhurst Feb 3, 2014 09:16 AM

      That's pretty nifty.

      Of course, bottle tongs are more fun I think but then you need (A) the tongs and (B)a fire and (C) a cold rag.

      1. z
        zackly Feb 3, 2014 09:20 AM

        Very cool! Now I just hope I get a chance to use it and impress everyone.

        1. ttoommyy Feb 3, 2014 10:27 AM

          To me it looks like an accident waiting to happen!
          It's cool if it really works though.

          17 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy
            MagicMarkR Feb 3, 2014 01:19 PM

            No kidding! A corkscrew takes up less space to carry aound than a a pair of industrial gloves that I'd want to wear.

            1. re: MagicMarkR
              tcamp Feb 3, 2014 01:45 PM

              Except for they don't usually make it through airport security in my carry on bag.

              1. re: tcamp
                BobB Feb 5, 2014 06:20 AM

                I used to fly all the time for business, and one essential element of my carry-on bag was a hard plastic corkscrew - perfectly TSA-safe. I got it as one of those branded promo giveaways at a trade show (that was in the UK, I've never seen them in the US).

                1. re: BobB
                  tcamp Feb 5, 2014 08:18 AM

                  I've never seen one in the US either but googled and found what I think you mean. What a good idea!


                  1. re: tcamp
                    BobB Feb 5, 2014 11:37 AM

                    Mine's a bit different but same basic concept.

                    1. re: BobB
                      ttoommyy Feb 5, 2014 12:15 PM

                      These are available in the US. We've owned a few over the years. Definitely good in a pinch.

                      1. re: ttoommyy
                        jrvedivici Feb 5, 2014 12:22 PM

                        While they are good in a pinch I do hate them and more times than not spill the wine by tugging to hard to get the dam cork out. Personally I just prefer to push the cork down into the bottle. Sure a little annoying when pouring but no risk of cork particles in your wine!

                        1. re: jrvedivici
                          BobB Feb 6, 2014 05:56 AM

                          I have another device, picked up back in the '70s, that enables you to remove a cork that's gotten pushed into the bottle.

                          1. re: BobB
                            HillJ Feb 6, 2014 01:38 PM

                            Well?????????? Don't keep such a device secret.

                            1. re: HillJ
                              BobB Feb 7, 2014 05:40 AM

                              OK - here it is. It's made of wire slightly thinner than coat hanger wire, and has four long tines, bent inward about 1/4" at the end. There's a small metal loop that you can slide up and down - as you slide it down it pulls the four tines together.

                              To use it, you slide the ring down so you can insert it into a wine bottle, then slide the ring up so the tines spread out and surround the cork, then simply pull it up to remove the cork.

                              I got it for a buck or so back in the '70s at one of those Indian import shops that were ubiquitous in Cambridge, MA back then.

                              1. re: BobB
                                tcamp Feb 7, 2014 07:30 AM

                                Personally, I would benefit from a short video seeing this process in action. Bob? Are you game?

                                1. re: tcamp
                                  HillJ Feb 7, 2014 08:03 AM

                                  Thank you, I was thinking the same thing. I'm having a hard time visualizing that round part going down the neck of the bottle.

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    jrvedivici Feb 7, 2014 08:07 AM

                                    I think it only works on screw tops.

                                    1. re: jrvedivici
                                      HillJ Feb 7, 2014 08:11 AM

                                      You need to start your own show on Crackle, jr. Get on that!

                                    2. re: HillJ
                                      BobB Feb 7, 2014 08:33 AM

                                      Not really into doing videos. But maybe I can draw you a better word picture. Part of the problem, I suspect, is that the device is upside-down in the photos, with the handle at the bottom.

                                      Slide the little ring about half way down to force the four tines together. Holding it by the handle (the big oval loop end at the top), insert the bottom end (the bent tips of the tines) into the bottle. As you lower the tines into the bottle, keep hold of the little loop, sliding it up so that as the tines go in they spread apart. Wiggle it a bit to be sure the cork is within the tines. Slide the ring back down to draw the tines together again, gripping the cork between them. Pull up on the handle, and the bent tips lock onto the bottom of the cork and allow you to draw it out.

                                      1. re: BobB
                                        HillJ Feb 7, 2014 08:43 AM

                                        Yes it was the upside down photo. Now I get it!

                                        1. re: BobB
                                          tcamp Feb 7, 2014 09:31 AM

                                          I'm getting the picture, thanks.

                                          In the early 70's, my mom got me hooked on making terrariums and there was a somewhat similar tool that we used to grasp the plants, insert them down the neck of the gallon bottle (Almaden wine, if you care), and then nestle into the soil.

              2. LindaWhit Feb 3, 2014 11:38 AM

                How many of us are going to try this very soon? Just perhaps not inside the house. ;-)

                5 Replies
                1. re: LindaWhit
                  HillJ Feb 3, 2014 11:42 AM

                  I just did outside in the snow. 2 out of the 4 bottles didn't budge one bit. One opened a tad and the other one opened enough for me to replicate what the guy did. Which is now wine with dinner. I used my low cut boot.

                  I'd probably opt for a screw top bottle for times when I don't want to carry a corkscrew. Plenty of delicious wines come with a screw top.

                  1. re: HillJ
                    LindaWhit Feb 3, 2014 11:56 AM

                    LOL! I knew someone would try it.

                    And yes, I just had a nice Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa a few nights ago with dinner. Screwtop.

                    1. re: LindaWhit
                      HillJ Feb 3, 2014 12:43 PM

                      Every try their Faithful Hound (should I be surprised a CH would love a Faithful Hound wine?!)No. I have 3 bottles here. Delish.

                      1. re: HillJ
                        LindaWhit Feb 3, 2014 12:51 PM

                        I've not seen it, but will keep a lookout for it. I think I got the Mulderbosch SauvBlanc last month at Wegmans.

                        1. re: LindaWhit
                          HillJ Feb 3, 2014 12:52 PM

                          Same here only I got their red. There's a picture of a beautiful dog on the label.

                2. c
                  ChervilGeorge Feb 3, 2014 11:44 AM

                  I have never been able to get this to work for me. Tried many times. Hope you all have better luck!

                  1. g
                    gardencook Feb 3, 2014 12:02 PM

                    Great tip! Make sure the shoes have good support. LOL!

                    1. Karl S Feb 3, 2014 01:22 PM

                      Not as dashing as using a sword.

                      1. tcamp Feb 3, 2014 01:51 PM

                        Just be sure and use a solid wall, not drywall. Especially if the shoe you're using has a heel that is not broad and flat, e.g. woman's pump.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: tcamp
                          HillJ Feb 3, 2014 01:52 PM

                          I used our back fence and the stone wall. The fence popped the cork, the stone didn't. Woman's boot.

                          1. re: HillJ
                            ursy_ten Feb 3, 2014 09:45 PM

                            The fence over the stone wall? That surprises me! Was it a wooden fence?

                            1. re: ursy_ten
                              HillJ Feb 4, 2014 06:33 AM

                              Yes wood. Cedar planks.

                              1. re: HillJ
                                ursy_ten Feb 4, 2014 08:04 AM

                                Huh! Good to know :)

                                Maybe it's because there's a bit of "give" in wood that might provide a bit of spring-back that a stone fence doesn't.

                                1. re: ursy_ten
                                  HillJ Feb 4, 2014 08:17 AM

                                  Oh it could have been how I whacked at it too. My thud got stronger with each bottle because I was thinking hitting harder would make a difference..and it appeared to.

                        2. jrvedivici Feb 4, 2014 08:12 AM

                          Using a waiters cork screw (I've been in the business my entire life I've opened thousands of bottles) I had the neck of the bottle crack and go directly into my hand, in that web area between your thumb and pointer finger. This happened about 10 years ago and I'm still gun-shy when opening a bottle with a waiter cork screw, so to me banging it on the wall looks like a great way to do it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jrvedivici
                            BobB Feb 6, 2014 09:21 AM

                            That happened to me years ago using one of those cork removers with the two flat blades that you slide down the sides of the cork. Still have the scars on my palm. And I've never used that type again.

                          2. t
                            thimes Feb 4, 2014 08:41 AM

                            did this the last time I was in Paris on the Quai below Notre Dame - works like a charm.

                            Some German did it with a beer that had a cork - obviously when the cork came out so did 1/3 of the beer because of the carbonation - so wine only.

                            I can imagine it might not work with some of the synthetic corks that are almost impossible to get out with a corkscrew anyway.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: thimes
                              HillJ Feb 4, 2014 08:47 AM

                              Those synthetic corks are a real pain!

                              1. re: HillJ
                                ttoommyy Feb 4, 2014 10:46 AM

                                Really? I always find them a lot easier than some corks!

                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                  HillJ Feb 4, 2014 10:56 AM

                                  Well, the last time I encountered a wine bottle with a synthetic cork the corkscrew could not penetrate enough to work properly and a server wound up opening it with a sharp knife. At a party, one host plunge down after having the same issue with a corkscrew and trapped the wine.

                            2. jrvedivici Feb 4, 2014 11:20 AM

                              An interesting side note to this; would it be proper etiquette for the cork remover to offer you a whiff of his shoe as well as the cork?

                              " I prefer my 1986 Bertani Amarone opened by a size 12 Bruno Mali wing tip, with a slight high school gym locker room scent "

                              1. fldhkybnva Feb 4, 2014 12:26 PM

                                I don't even really drink wine and I want to buy a bottle just to try this. Thanks for sharing :)

                                1. e
                                  ELA Feb 6, 2014 06:03 AM


                                  Personally, I don't see me having to try this. Yes, I do not carry a corkscrew with me all the time, but for the times I don't have one or simply forget it...I just use my large saber/sword as I always have that with me. LOL.

                                  1. 4
                                    4X4 Feb 7, 2014 07:42 AM

                                    In season one of House of Cards, Frank Underwood uses a shoe and a pen to open a bottle of wine. The pen was one he took from the Oval Office. Looking forward to binge watching season two next weekend.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: 4X4
                                      HillJ Feb 7, 2014 08:03 AM

                                      Ditto, that was one hell of a series! A good deal of wine and cocktails were consumed on that show.

                                      1. re: HillJ
                                        4X4 Feb 7, 2014 10:19 AM

                                        And don't forget the little barbecue joint Frank often goes to. IMHO that was the most unrealistic part of the show - there's no good barbecue in DC. :)

                                        1. re: 4X4
                                          HillJ Feb 7, 2014 10:20 AM

                                          Always a CH!!

                                    2. porker Feb 7, 2014 08:49 AM

                                      Too bad I didn't see the video yesterday, coulda tried it last night...

                                      I will try it sometime, but am indebted to HillJ for his stats.

                                      In a pinch, with no corkscrew, I push the cork in. It still needs some type of stiff rod with a somewhat blunt end, but you can usually rustle something up (disassembled hotel hanger, chopstick, beefy key, marker, etc)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: porker
                                        HillJ Feb 7, 2014 08:51 AM

                                        That's it whatever works!

                                        1. re: porker
                                          tcamp Feb 7, 2014 09:33 AM

                                          Or just take your bottle down to the reception desk (assuming you're in a hotel) and ask to borrow a corkscrew. I've had success in nice and cheapo places alike.

                                          1. re: tcamp
                                            porker Feb 7, 2014 10:14 AM

                                            I prefer a giggling mrs. porker calling me Macgyver
                                            hehe {;-/)

                                        2. c
                                          chowyadoin99 Feb 8, 2014 07:59 PM

                                          Best way if you don't have a corkscrew is with a .38. Some will say a .45, but that's just macho posturing.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: chowyadoin99
                                            porker Feb 9, 2014 06:58 AM

                                            I never saw the .38 or the .45, but heres a .22 and a .50 cal.

                                          2. e
                                            ELA Feb 9, 2014 07:47 PM

                                            Very good thread...thanks for the info.

                                            1. jrvedivici Feb 10, 2014 04:26 AM

                                              I tried this last night; FAIL!

                                              The only two differences were I did not use a hard healed shoe, I used one of my sons Dockers(?) boat shoes with a softer heal. 2nd I initially tried at the end of a wall against the stud, nothing. I then used the end of the bar ( granite ) and again nothing.

                                              1. JMF Feb 10, 2014 09:35 AM

                                                If you do a google search there are lots of neat ways to open wine bottles.

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