When you're in the mood for wine, there could be nothing worse than having a cork get stuck in the bottle. Call it stubbornness from the cork or some sort of magical powers trying to take away your wine joy, but either way, it isn't fun. Thankfully, though, it's not impossible to get the cork out – it just involves a bit of trial and error with a few creative and different methods. And, if you find yourself wondering, "Can I open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew?," rest assured that the answer is yes. With this, you can also turn to creative methods that will help ensure you're sipping your favorite wine in no time.
How to Remove a Cork Without a Corkscrew
When precious wine is at stake, it's in your best interest to do what you can to remove a stuck cork. Each of these methods should do the trick to remove the cork from a wine bottle in a pinch when there's no corkscrew in sight:
- Run it under hot water: While holding the bottle at an angle that ensures the cork will stay dry, place the neck of the bottle under very hot water for around 30 seconds. By doing this, you are causing the glass to expand from the heat, which loosens the cork enough for you to tug on it with your hands.
- Use a tree or flat surface: Start by wrapping your bottle of wine in a towel around the base of the bottle. Using a tree or any flat surface, hit the base of the bottle against the hard surface firmly. With each firm hit, the cork should eventually push out.
While this method is somewhat unorthodox, resulting in some worried neighbors when they see you banging a wine bottle against a tree, remember that you're doing it for the wine.
- Use a screw and hammer: Simply grab a long, sturdy screw and screw it into the cork until you have about an inch of the screw showing. Next, take the backside of a hammer and lock it under the screw. Pull. The cork should come right out.
This method, however, can result in pieces of cork getting into the wine. When this happens, you don't have to toss out the wine. Simply use a strainer to remove the cork bits and enjoy.
Remove Stuck Cork From Champagne Bottle
Champagne is a celebration drink, which means that part of the fun involves "popping the Champagne." This can be done in several different ways, including pointing the bottle away from yourself, anything important and others (for safety reasons, since the cork jumps out fast) and then twisting the bottom of the bottle until you pop the cork. The Champagne should be poured into glasses immediately after opening.
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Another way, which makes for a great party trick, involves the technique known as "sabering Champagne." This party trick is done by using a knife to slice the cork right off.
There's no fun in having a sparkling wine or Champagne bottle that's got a stuck cork. When this happens, run warm water over the bottle neck for three to five minutes. The heat of the water should cause the carbonation inside of the bottle to release faster, pushing the cork out. Now all that's left to do is proffer the Champagne toast.
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Sarah is a multi-platform writer and editor. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Vital Proteins, Healthline, Diply, and more. When she's not writing, she's trying to keep up with her border collie, Emmy.