Céline Bossart is a freelance journalist and also photographer based in brand-new York, specializing in wine, spirits and also travel.

You are watching: Can you open wine without a corkscrew


It’s an awful case we’ve all challenged at one allude or another: You have a party of alcohol you desire to drink however no corkscrew ~ above hand. Experienced bartenders and also wine pros available their favorite MacGyver-style wine bottle tricks. This are six tips lock recommend.

1. Shoes or boot

“Not count sabering, the weirdest method I"ve opened up a party is the shoes trick,” claims Vince Stilletti, the manager that The Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn, brand-new York. “Weirder still was that it was at a hotel in Italy, whereby you"d think they"d have actually wine secrets in every room.”

The process, says Stilletti, is as follows. “Remove the foil and any cap from the top, then place the bottom of the bottle into a shoe whereby your heel would certainly go,” that says. “I've only done it v sneakers, yet anything with some cushioning need to work. Then discover a sturdy wall surface or beam, and also line your shoe and bottle up to it so that the shoe is vertical and the bottle is horizontal. Hold the bottle and also shoe steady together, insanity both versus the upright surface favor you're hammering a nail. That takes patience, yet eventually the force will slowly push the cork the end of the neck enough for friend to remove it v your hand.”

Agave spirits professional Carmen Lopez Torres, who based in Mexico, is also a pan of this method, an especially for the show. “I love people's faces when you do the shoe trick; it’s prefer they don't intend it come work yet it does,” she says. 

New York City bartender Paula Lukas achieved a comparable effect through a towel and tree. “When i was a camp counselor and didn't have actually an opener, we wrapped the party in a towel and also banged it against a tree,” she says. “It worked.” 

2. Ballpoint Pen

Lauren Darnell, a bartender and also spirits skilled in Seattle, has actually put the shoe trick to use herself in the past, however notes the a ballpoint pen will work-related in a pinch. “I once supplied one to whittle away at the cork, then i strained v a T-shirt.” when it no necessarily a job highlight, she adds, it did work, and also sometimes that’s every you can really asking for. Follow to drinks writer Taylor Tobin, friend can also simply press the cork right into the bottle using a Sharpie. Fellow professionals Caroline Hatchett and also Isabella Newman recommend doing the exact same with a sturdy pipe of mascara.

3. Tweezers

California spirits pro drew Record recalls making use of a colleague’s “very high value tweezers together an Ah-So ~ above a train indigenous Paris come Reims.” Oddly, there were no French passengers on the train wielding a preventive wine key. “I went to job-related extracting the cork through my colleague’s Tweezerman Ultra Precision tweezers,” that says. “After a couple of harrowing minutes, we were rewarded through delicious wine. Sadly, the tweezers did not recover.”

4. Long Screw and also Hammer

A rapid tip from marketing and drinks skilled Kirti Dwivedi for making your own corkscrew that sorts: “Screw a really long screw into the cork,” she says. “Use the claw component of a hammer to pull on the screw, and—ta-da!—there’s wine.”

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5. Bicycle Pump

Houston bartender Christopher Huang swears through the cycle pump method. “Shove the inflator needle all the means through the cork and pump away,” that says. He has actually tried that himself. “I had actually a bike pump that i held between my feet, and also I just stopped pumping when the cork edged the end halfway. That didn"t take an extremely many pumps to attain the score either.”

6. Warm Fireplace Tongs and Snow

According to brand-new York City bartender Nick Venditti, you have the right to recreate the port tongs method using hot fireplace tongs and also some great old-fashioned snow. “ used this at my parents house upstate because there was no corkscrew but there was a wood-burning stove.” that says. “I heated up the tongs until they were red-hot, got the bottle around the neck through them, brought the bottle outside and also immediately packed snow about the neck. The cracked same at the neck line. I ran it v a funnel and also strainer to it is in safe, but there to be no glass shards in it.”