5 Crazy Ways To Open Wine When You Don’t Have An Opener

Sometimes, we’re not prepared. Sometimes, we find ourselves randomly walking into a wine shop and then not having an opener when we get when we’re going. Okay, no, we don’t. But sometimes we want to impress our friends and families with our ability to always get to the wine. And so we say, “Watch how I can open a bottle of wine!”. Here are the craziest ways to open a bottle of wine when you don’t have an opener.

Please note: This post is humorous and informative and does not mean to be instructional or encouraging. There is a reason corkscrews, of all kinds, exist. Please don’t try these at home. Most of these people are experienced wine “professionals”. If you ever decide to try one of these bad ideas, all we can say is that we would do it outside, away from other living creatures, and with safety gear, 911 ready to call, and someone sober who can get you to the ER. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!



I have to admit, despite my love of bubbles, I don’t think I heard about this until I started following The Drunken Cyclist last year. Jeff Kralik is a Philadelphia-based wine blogger, cyclist, husband, and father who brings a wealth of knowledge, and a hefty dose of fun, to the wine blogging world. And he’s famous for sabering. If you’re not familiar, it’s what it sounds like… using a saber, or sword, to open a bottle of sparkling wine.

Of course, we in the wine world often get a little tipsy and like to outdo each other, and so there are plenty of insane sabering videos that show the many things that can be used: CDs (I’ve seen this in person), spoons, butter knives, bicycle wheels, nine irons, and more. For a close up instructional video, check out Wine Folly’s quick “how to” and please note her safety gear!


A Shoe And A Wall

In the spring I saw a video of someone using just a shoe and a wall to open a bottle of wine. It was about 10 a.m. I was sick of packing, entrenched in the dark world of YouTube wine videos and wanted an excuse to drink a bottle of wine I had. I found a bunch of these videos and while I couldn’t get it done (I wanted to drink, not stand outside alarming my neighbors more than usual) it is actually doable if you have the correct technique. Thanks to wine blogger Mykha’el Wilson for reminding me that this is a really easy way to open a bottle no matter what you have on hand!

A few helpful tips for this method…

  • Many recommend that you wear a heavy duty glove, like a gardening glove, on the hand closer to the top of the bottle.
  • Do not use a regular wall for this! I recommend an exterior wall that is BRICK. A stone wall also works. Especially here in the states, you’re going to have a hole in the wall, not an open bottle of wine if you try this on a regular wall.
  • Do not allow the cork to come all of the way out – it’s alcohol abuse.


A House Key

Brought a bottle to a house that doesn’t have a corkscrew? First, please go out and buy your friend a corkscrew. Second, pull out your keychain. A 45 degree angle, your palm, and about 2 minutes is all you need to open a bottle this way. And you will look very cool doing it! One tip – be careful when inserting that you don’t end up breaking the glass. NEVER serve wine that may have shards, chips, or pieces of broken glass in them.


Swiss Army Knife Can Opener

Some Swiss Army Knives have a corkscrew. Some don’t. Rather than dull the blade of the main knife or risk injury, you can use the can opener. The pieces that are shaped like hooks will help you to very quickly and easily get the cork out!

Remember to insert the can opener in as straight as possible to avoid creating gaps where the cork will release it too easily. Also, this is best with newer, spongier corks. Older corks (and those in super high alcohol wines like port) tend to be dryer and you’ll end up with a mess.


To The Garage!

Your toolbox is full of great ways to open a bottle of wine including a screw and a hammer. Just screw the screw into the center of the cork and then use the claw side of a hammer to pull it out – simple!

These are great for getting to the cork, but what if there’s a ton of wax covering it? You can simply eyeball it, and put in your corkscrew or cut it off around the neck but Cathrine Todd, Dame Wine, provided me with this picture of her favorite method:



Opening wine can be done so many ways – whether you use an Ah So, waiter’s friend, wine key, or winged handle opener. Or you can kick your opening skills up a notch (or find friends who already have) by opening in new and unique ways. Always open safe and sober, protect your eyes and hands, and point bottles away from other people and animals. Do you have a crazy way to open a bottle? Share a link to your video in the comments section below and we’ll check it out – who knows, maybe we’ll even try it!

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