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The best way to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew

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  1. Love it! Have to try it now.

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

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

          17 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy

            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

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

              1. re: tcamp

                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

                  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

                    Mine's a bit different but same basic concept.

                    1. re: BobB

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

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        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

                          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

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

                            1. re: HillJ

                              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

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

                                1. re: tcamp

                                  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

                                    I think it only works on screw tops.

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

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

                                    2. re: HillJ

                                      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

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

                                        1. re: BobB

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

                5 Replies
                1. re: LindaWhit

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

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

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

                    1. Not as dashing as using a sword.

                      1. 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

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

                          1. re: HillJ

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

                              1. re: HillJ

                                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

                                  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. 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

                            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. 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

                              Those synthetic corks are a real pain!

                              1. re: HillJ

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

                                1. re: ttoommyy

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

                                1. Impressive...

                                  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. 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

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

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        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. :)

                                    2. 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

                                          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

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

                                        2. 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

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

                                          2. Very good thread...thanks for the info.

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