Quick disclaimer: most of these methods aren’t 100% foolproof. In fact, they are all prone to screw up your bottle of wine if done incorrectly or without proper care, i.e., breaking the cork and having it shed into the wine, chipping the wine bottle, or, in a worst-case scenario, breaking the wine bottle completely. So, if you have a rare and/or expensive wine that would break your heart if broken in this process, you should probably just wait until you have a corkscrew. However, in all other circumstances (which, lets be real, is usually the case) these options can help lift you from despair and grant you a pleasant vino-filled night:
1 – Use a Screw (the longer the better), a screwdriver, and a hammer
This is probably one of the safest methods on this list, but it does require some resilience and strength, as it can fatigue you easily. You simply take a screw, preferably a long one, and screw it into the cork with a screwdriver until there is about an inch or so of the screw left showing. Then you take the backside of the hammer, lock it under the screw and pull the cork out. You may also need a towel to wipe the sweat off your forehead once the mission is complete.
2 – Push the cork in with the handle of a wooden spoon, or any blunt object similar in size
This is also a pretty safe method to use in comparison to some of the others on this list, but it does have its downsides. To open the bottle, you simple take the handle of the wooden spoon, or something similar, and push the cork down into the bottle of wine. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to remove the cork from the bottle once you push it in. Also, if the bottle of wine is old the cork may crumble and shed into the wine once pushed in. It certainly sucks when this happens, but if you are with friends and plan on drinking the whole bottle there is no need to worry. Just use a strainer and pour the bottle of wine through it into a decanter.
3 – Pump it out
This one is really simple. You take a bike pump that has a needle attached and plunge it through the cork, penetrating all the way through until the needle reaches the air between the cork and the wine. Then you pump air into the bottle. As you pump, the cork should slowly move out of the bottle from the air pressure.
4 – Twist it out with keys or a serrated knife
This option is quite similar to the first option, where you use a screw and hammer to yank out the cork. This time, however, you just use your keys, a serrated knife, or something that works similarly. Plunge the item into the cork at a 45-degree angle, and move the top of the item in a circle, essentially twisting the cork out slowly. After a couple rotations, the cork should come out. Make sure you really get your item into the cork because if you don’t, the cork could just crumble, which would be a huge bummer. If this happens you can always resort to the fix in option 2.
5 – Wrap the bottle with a towel and use the wall to smack it out
Now this is the point on the list where things get a bit dangerous, so proceed with caution. The previous two options required at least one tool, but if you find yourself with scarce resources, this option may be your best friend. Simply wrap the bottom of the wine bottle in a thick towel, or two to be safe, and then bang it against a wall repeatedly. Now, obviously the bottle may break if you do this, so consider it a last resort. You wont get the cork out of the bottle the first time you smack it against the wall, so we suggest you don’t ever use your full strength and just hit it against the wall many times, slowly moving the cork out.
6 – Slap it out with a shoe
This is a similar option to the towel play, but it’s a little less ballsy. You similarly wrap the bottom of the wine bottle in a towel, but instead of proceeding to slam it against a wall you simply put it upside down in between your legs while sitting and slap it with a shoe. This may take a long time, but it is a safer option than number 5. Remember to stop before the cork comes all the way out or else you will have yourself a bit of a mess and, as we all know to well, some permanent stains.
7 – Apply heat to move the cork out
This option is pretty far out, but it really does work. If you have a blowtorch you can apply heat to the part of the wine bottle right below the cork. The heat should force the cork to move upward and eventually out of the bottle. However, make sure the bottle is NOT COLD. We repeat, NOT COLD, or else it could explode from rapid change in temperature. If it’s cold, please just let the bottle rest in a lukewarm environment for a while.
Or you could just buy a great double-hinged corkscrew…