Is there anything as frustrating as being unable to open a bottle of wine because some sadist designed them to be opened with a corkscrew? That’s a rhetorical question, of course. Everyone knows a this is an emergency of monumental proportions—worse than American Apparel closing or your credit card getting cancelled. Nothing ruins a party/bat mitzvah/day at the office faster than uselessly cradling sweet, sweet fermented grape juice in your arms, so close and yet so far from being drunk, while you desperately try to figure out how to pop bottles without a bottle opener.
I’ve seen far too many wine bottles go to waste when some moron tries to tear the cork out with their teeth or something. In the interest of ending this madness, I decided to test and rank different ways to open a bottle without a corkscrew. And then drink it, obviously, for scientific purposes.
Supposedly, betches armed with a blowtorch can heat up the neck of a bottle until the hot air pushes the cork out. Seeing as I’m neither a stoner nor a welder on some oil rig in the middle of the ocean, I don’t own a blowtorch, and I’m not putting my hair at risk by buying one. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars in 2017 alone getting it to this level of perfection—I’m not letting it anywhere near an open flame, thank you very much.
I’m not your mom, so try the blowtorch thing if you want—but if you actually own a blowtorch and not a corkscrew, it might be time to take a good, hard look at your choices. The blowtorch thing might even work, but be prepared to say goodbye to your eyebrows by the time you’ve finally gotten the cork out.
2. Hitting Wine/Shoe Against Wall
We’ve all heard of this one: Stick a wine bottle inside a shoe and thwack it against the wall, ignoring the yammering of your annoyed neighbors, until the cork leaps out at your face. I’ve seen it work on YouTube, so I had high hopes for this method. They were promptly dashed, which is what I deserve for daring to be optimistic.
After carefully placing the wine inside a combat boot and zipping it inside for good measure, I commenced whacking it against the crumbling wall of my rooftop chimney. 34 minutes later, the cork was unmoved, the ground was littered with chunks of plaster, and I was not even a little bit drunk. The conclusion? My building is shitty and so is this method.
3. Hitting Bottle With Shoe
Another supposedly successful shoe-related method is hitting the bottom of the wine bottle with a shoe until the pressure forces out the cork (or something, I slept through most of physics TBH). Using the aforementioned combat boot and a bunch of creative positioning, I went to town on the bottom of that wine bottle for what felt like eternity but turned out to be like, 20 minutes.
Like the Shitty Shoe Method #1, though, I had precisely zero success despite the strength of desperation to be drunk. In the end, instead of a fountain of wine, all I got was a sore shoulder and an embarrassing sense of my pathetic, flaccid muscles. Apparently SoulCycle doesn’t work out your arms as much as I thought it did.
4. Key Twist
The method, according to my college roommate who swore that this worked: Insert your keys into the cork, twist them slightly, and wiggle it out with the kind of patience no betch has ever possessed except in the pursuit of getting to some fucking wine.
Shockingly, this actually kind of worked—the cork shifted upward ever so slightly at first. Then my hand slipped, shoving the key in further and tearing a giant hole in the cork. The upside is that the hole was big enough to pour wine at a trickle so slow I could feel eons pass between each drop. The downside is the wine had bits of cork floating around inside like icebergs around the Titanic, but at that point I think anyone would say fuck it and chug the first glass anyway. So… success?
5. Wooden Spoon
Take a wooden spoon (or some other household object with a handle) and hammer the cork with the blunt end. When it rebounds and smacks you in the eye, redouble your efforts until you lose the eye entirely or the cork has been shoved down the bottleneck to drown in wine where it belongs.
Although you might think this method would go the way of the shoe tricks, if you sit there poking the wine bottle long enough, eventually your roommate will come take over and shove the cork inside in one fell stroke. Basically, the spoon thing totally works if you actually do weights at the gym instead of half-assing cycling classes three times a week. Obviously, this calls for a celebratory drink because it’s been two fucking hours and you’re ready to call it a loss and break out the vodka. (Maybe you should do that anyway.)
6. Buy A Fucking Corkscrew
Sure, you can technically open a bottle of wine without any mechanical aid, but save it for the direst situations, like your little brother’s graduation party or, god forbid, camping anywhere but Coachella. Otherwise, just buy a fucking corkscrew or get used to drinking shitty screw-top wine all the time. If you’re doing it right, it’ll only take five minutes for you to get too drunk to notice the taste of sulfites.
Wanna know what your favorite wine says about you? Read here!