How to Open a Wine Bottle in Different Ways

Opening Wine Bottle With Corkscrew

When hosting a party, there is always one event where everyone’s eyes will be on you – the moment you open the bottle of wine. While you might not think that anything can go wrong, the truth is if you don’t open the bottle properly, you could wind up breaking the cork or even the bottle itself.

Luckily, you have a range of tools at your disposal that can help you open a wine bottle gracefully and safely. Here’s how to open a wine bottle using a variety of different tools.

How to Open a Wine Bottle with an Opener

The standard wine bottle opener consists of a handle and corkscrew. To open a wine bottle using this type of opener, follow these steps:

  1. Place the bottle of wine on a flat, level surface and hold it stationary.
  2. Remove the foil by using a knife to cut across the front, back, and top of the foil. Be mindful to keep your fingers clear of the blade and the foil to avoid an accidental cut.
  3. Set the corkscrew just off center of the cork and insert it
  4. Start rotating the corkscrew straight into the cork and continue until only one curl remains.
  5. Carefully pull the cork out of the bottle using the handle of the opener.

How to Open Red Wine Without an Opener

If you don’t have a wine opener, then odds are you have other items around your house that can help you remove the cork just as easily. Here are some of the more common (and safer) ways to open red wine without an opener.

  • Screw, Screwdriver, and Hammer: Use the screwdriver to drive a screw (the longer, the better) through the center of the cork. Then, lock the claw of the hammer under the head of the screw and pull it out as if you were removing a nail from a piece of wood.
  • Wooden Spoon: Use a wooden spoon, or some other blunt object, and push the cork into the bottle instead of trying to remove it. This works as long as the cork is still relatively fresh because older cork can crumble and break. Because the cork cannot be removed once it is in the bottle, decanting the wine is recommended before serving.
  • Bicycle Pump: If you have a bicycle pump and one of those long needles used to inflate basketballs, then you can insert the needle through the cork until the tip of it reaches the air below the cork. Then, start pumping the bicycle pump. This will increase the pressure in the bottle and the cork will eventually pop out.

How to Open a Wine Bottle with a Knife

Another popular alternative to opening a bottle of wine when you don’t have an opener is to use a knife. This usually takes some practice before you can do it perfectly, but it can work if you’re in a pinch. A serrated knife is recommended for the best results. Here’s how to open a wine bottle with a knife:

  1. Remove the foil from the neck of the bottle.
  2. Insert the tip of the serrated knife into the cork about an inch.
  3. Start turning the bottle until you get some momentum, then gradually pull up the cork.

How to Open Wine with a Wine Key (Sommelier Knife)

A wine key, or “sommelier knife,” is a specialized tool that makes opening a bottle of wine quick and easy. This tool is usually equipped with a corkscrew, a blade, and a hinged lever. To open a wine bottle using a wine key, follow these steps:

  1. Place the bottle of wine on a flat, level surface and hold it stationary.
  2. Use the blade on the opener to cut across the front, back, and top of the foil. Be mindful to keep your fingers clear of the blade and the foil to avoid an accidental cut.
  3. Set the corkscrew just off center of the cork and insert it
  4. Start rotating the corkscrew straight into the cork and continue until only one curl remains.
  5. Fold the lever over, so the first step rests on the lip of the bottle’s neck and lift the opener slowly up.
  6. If the cork does not come out on the first pull, then place the lever’s second step on the lip of the bottle neck and lift the opener to remove the cork the rest of the way.

Before you can enjoy a glass of your favorite wine, you need to open the bottle first. Any of the above methods will work, however, some may require a little more patience or practice than others. But as with any task, practice makes perfect. So, keep at it and by the time you’re ready to host your next party, you’ll be able to open a bottle of wine like a seasoned sommelier.

perfect for friends
and family

1 barrel makes 240 bottles!

perfect for friends and family

1 barrel makes 240 bottles!