October 3, 2023
Don't have a wine opener? No problem! This ultimate guide offers five ways to open a wine bottle without a wine opener, including using a shoe, household items, camping, traveling, and a butler's friend. Learn how to master the art of opening a bottle of wine sans opener.


Have you ever found yourself with a bottle of wine but no corkscrew or wine opener in sight? Don’t let that stop you from enjoying a nice glass of vino! There are several methods for opening a wine bottle without a wine opener. In this article, we will explore the classic approach of using a shoe, five unusual ways to open a wine bottle, kitchen hacks to use household items, tips for opening wine while camping or traveling, and mastering the art of using a butler’s friend. Read on for the ultimate guide on how to open a wine bottle without a wine opener.

The Classic Approach: How to Use a Shoe to Open a Wine Bottle

The classic approach of using a shoe to open a wine bottle involves a bit of force and patience, but it can get the job done. Here’s how:

  1. Wrap the bottom of the wine bottle with a towel or cloth to prevent it from breaking.
  2. Place the wine bottle inside a shoe with a firm sole, like a sneaker or boot.
  3. Hold the shoe and bottle firmly, then bang the shoe against a hard surface, like a wall or floor.
  4. The cork may gradually start to emerge from the bottle. Keep hitting the shoe against a surface until the cork comes out.
  5. Carefully remove the cork and enjoy your wine!

If the cork doesn’t budge, try rotating the bottle slightly and hitting the shoe against the surface at a different angle. Be careful not to hit the bottle too hard or to let it slip out of the shoe. Also, be sure to aim in a direction that will not harm anyone or damage anything in the environment.

Get Creative: Five Unusual Ways to Open a Wine Bottle

If the shoe method isn’t your style, here are five unusual ways to open a wine bottle:

  1. Push the cork into the bottle using a long screw – Unscrew a long screw into the center of the cork and then use pliers or tongs to pull the screw and the cork out together.
  2. Use a serrated knife – Insert a serrated knife into the cork at an angle and wiggle it back and forth to loosen the cork, then pull it out with your hands.
  3. Use a bike pump – Insert the needle of a bike pump into the cork until it is secure, then pump the cork out.
  4. Wrap the bottle in a towel and hit with a book – Wrap the bottom of the bottle with a towel, place it on a stable surface, and hit the bottle with a large book until the cork comes out.
  5. Use keys as a lever – Insert two keys between the cork and the bottle and use them to twist and pull the cork out.

While these methods might work in a pinch, they are not necessarily the safest or most practical ways to open a wine bottle. Be cautious and careful when trying these unconventional methods.

Kitchen Hacks: How to Open a Wine Bottle with Common Household Items

When you don’t have a designated wine opener handy, there are several household items you can use to get the cork out of the bottle:

  1. Use a screw and pliers – Screw a regular screw into the cork and then use pliers or tongs to pull the cork out.
  2. Push the cork into the bottle using a wooden spoon – Insert the handle of a wooden spoon into the cork and start to push the cork down into the bottle.
  3. Use a rope or string – Tie a secure knot in a strong piece of string or thin rope, place it around the top of the cork, and pull while twisting the bottle.
  4. Use a hammer and screwdriver – Insert the tip of a screwdriver into the cork and use a hammer to gently push the screwdriver farther into the cork. Then, use the screwdriver to pry the cork out of the bottle.

Be sure to use caution when using these household items. Take the time to assess the risks of each approach before getting started.

On the Go: How to Open a Wine Bottle without a Corkscrew while Camping or Traveling

When you’re camping or traveling, finding a wine opener is likely to be a significant challenge. But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo a good glass of wine! Here are some methods to help you open a wine bottle in a pinch:

  1. Use a tree branch – Look for a sturdy tree branch that’s about the same diameter as the cork, then sharpen one end of the stick. Drive the sharpened end of the stick into the center of the cork and then use leverage to clock out the cork.
  2. Use a tent stake – There are tent stakes with a hook on it that is designed for pulling tent stakes out of the ground, which can also be effective at pulling the cork out of a wine bottle.
  3. Use a screw eye and pliers – Screw a screw eye into the center of the cork, and then use pliers or tongs to pull the cork out.

Remember, when out in nature, always use caution and never harm the environment.

Become a Wine Expert: How to Open a Wine Bottle Using a Butler’s Friend

The butler’s friend or waiter’s corkscrew is a small, handy tool that every wine lover should know how to use. Here are the steps to using a butler’s friend:

  1. Cut the foil – Cut the foil around the top of the bottle with the small knife on the corkscrew.
  2. Screw in the worm – Insert the corkscrew’s worm (the spiral part) into the center of the cork, then continue screwing until there’s only one turn left above the cork.
  3. Position the fulcrum – Hold the corkscrew firmly against the bottle and pull the hinged fulcrum up and over to rest on the lip of the bottle.
  4. Remove the cork – With one hand holding the fulcrum and the other hand firmly gripping the corkscrew, wiggle and pull gently until the cork is fully extracted.

A butler’s friend is compact and easy to carry with you, making it a must-have tool for wine enthusiasts. Practicing the steps above will make you a wine-opening pro in no time.


Opening a bottle of wine should not be a barrier to enjoying a delicious glass of your favorite grape juice. The methods we have explained above should help you feel confident next time you find yourself without a wine opener to hand. So get started, and impress your friends and family with your resourcefulness and creativity when it comes to wine opening time.

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