At any wine shop, consumers are faced with a choice: Go for the bottle with a cork closure — a more romantic option but one that requires more effort to open — or reach for the screw cap for easy access? For those who decide on the former option, only to find that their corkscrew seems to be missing, there’s no need to fret. There are, as it turns out, more ways to open a bottle of wine than there are to seal them.
Quick disclaimer: Most of these methods aren’t 100 percent foolproof. So tread carefully, as many of these methods run the risks of breaking the cork and having it shed into the wine, chipping the wine bottle, or, in a worst-case scenario, shattering the wine bottle completely. If you have a rare and/or expensive wine that would break your heart if broken in this process, we’d advise you to wait until you have a corkscrew. However, in most other circumstances, these options can help lift you from despair and grant you a pleasant vino-filled night.
Need help opening a beer bottle? See our guide on how to open a bottle without a bottle opener!
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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 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, take the handle of the wooden spoon (or a similar object), 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. On top of that, if the bottle of wine is old, the cork may crumble and shed into the wine once pushed in. While this is not an ideal result, 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 to remove the cork pieces.
3 – Hook ‘em With a Hanger
This method is relatively easy, but it entails saying goodbye to one of your wire hangers — you won’t be using it to hang clothes again. First, bend the tip of the hanger about 30 degrees back; if you do this right, it will look like a fish hook. Next, slide the wire down into the sealed wine bottle, alongside the cork. Rotate the wire 90 degrees so that the hook is underneath the cork. Simply pull the wire up, and the cork should release. Pliers or other household items can be used to tug at the hanger if it seems stuck. Just be sure to use a towel or gloves for protection.
4 – Pump It Out
This one is really simple. 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, pump air into the bottle. As you pump, the cork should slowly move out of the bottle due to the air pressure.
5 – Twist It Out With Keys or a Serrated Knife
This method is somewhat similar to the first option, in which a screw and hammer are used to yank out the cork. This time, however, just plunge your keys or a serrated knife 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 crumble.
6 – Wrap the Bottle With a Towel and Use the Wall to Smack It Out
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 bang it against a wall repeatedly. Obviously, the bottle may break if you do this, so consider it a last resort. You won’t get the cork out of the bottle the first time you smack it against the wall, so we suggest refraining from using your full strength. Instead, lightly hit the bottle against the wall many times, slowly moving the cork out.
7 – Slap It Out With a Shoe
This is a similar method to the previous one, but it’s a little less risky. Wrap the bottom of the wine bottle in a towel, but instead of proceeding to slam it against a wall, 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 6. Remember to stop before the cork comes all the way out, or else you will have yourself a bit of a mess and some permanent stains.
8 – Apply Heat to Move the Cork Out
This option is pretty far out, but it really does work. Using a blowtorch or lighter, apply heat to the neck 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, or else it could explode from the rapid change in temperature. If your bottle is already refrigerated, let it rest in a lukewarm environment for a while before applying heat.
How to Open a Bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine Like a Pro
Nothing says "celebrate!" quite like a bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne, which is sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France and produced using the Méthode Champenoise. There's just something about those little bubbles that makes any gathering instantly more festive. But opening a bottle of Champagne, prosecco, or cava can feel a bit like shooting a rocket indoors. To pop and pour like a pro, watch this video.
RELATED: You've Been Serving Champagne All Wrong — Here's How To Do It Right
Before you begin, keep in mind that a warm or room temperature bottle will be far more volatile and likely to explode the cork than one that is properly chilled. The proper serving temperature for sparkling wines should be colder than white wines, around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
What You Need
- A chilled bottle of sparkling wine, one dish towel
Follow These Steps
- Remove foil.
The foil on most bottles has a little tab that you can pull to make this process easier. If not, it’s a good idea to use a wine opener’s knife to begin this process. Once removed, discard the foil.
- Loosen the wire cage.
Flip down the small wire “key” that’s pressed up against the neck of the bottle at the bottom of the wire cage that encloses the cork. Turn the key to loosen the cage. (Fun fact: all bottles of bubbly require exactly six half-twists to fully remove the cage). When finished, discard the cage.
- Drape a towel over the bottle.
Now that the cork is exposed, drape a dish towel over the top of the bottle. This is used just in case built-up pressure causes the cork to pop on its own, but the towel will be at the ready to catch any wine spills, too.
- Twist the bottom hand until the cork eases out.
Keeping the bottle pointed in a safe direction—away from you and other people—grasp the base of the bottle with your dominant hand and the cork the other. Do not try to twist the cork. Instead, hold the cork firmly while turning the bottle slowly toward you, with your hand holding the base. As you turn the bottle from the base, you should feel the cork start to loosen and then ease into your hand (slight hiss = success). Continue until you hear the soft pop of the cork leaving the bottle.
Pro Tip: To avoid foamy overflow, pour only about an inch of wine into each glass at first, wait a few seconds for bubbles to subside, and then continue filling to just below the rim.
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To open a champagne bottle, start by taking off the foil that covers the cork. Then loosen the metal cage that holds the cork in the bottle by folding out the tab and twisting it counterclockwise. Remove the cage and discard it. Then cover the cork with a dish towel. Pick up the bottle, making sure that cork is pointed in a safe direction away from other people or breakables. Hold the cork, covered by the towel, with one hand, and the base of the bottle in the other. Gently twist the bottle - not the cork - back and forth, while holding the cork firmly. Do not twist or pull the cork, which can cause it to break off. As you twist the bottle, you should feel the cork start to slide out of the bottle. Keep twisting the bottle gently until the cork makes a small pop and comes out of the bottle, making sure that your hand is covering the cork at all times. Your champagne will stay more bubbly, and be less likely to overflow if you go slowly. Wait a few moments for the champagne to settle, then pour a small amount into each person’s glass. Once the fizz from the initial pour has gone down, continue pouring into each glass until everyone has been served. For a more dramatic celebratory experience, you can send the cork flying by pushing it away from the bottle with your thumbs once it is nearly out of the bottle. If you do this, make sure you’re outside and pointing the bottle a safe direction, and expect champagne to foam out of the top of the bottle after the cork flies away. If you want to learn proper champagne etiquette, such as how to chill or pour it, keep reading!
If it’s time to celebrate, then it’s time for a Barefoot Bubbly review!
What are you celebrating?
I subscribe to the tenet that one doesn’t need much of an excuse to celebrate.
Found my keys in under five minutes? Didn’t trip on my run? My favorite snacks are on sale at Costco?
Specifically, time to crack open the Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato!
I have literally opened a bottle simply because I made a cake and invited a few friends over.
Life is short (and long) and it doesn’t ever, never ever, hurt to enjoy a glass o’bubbly for whatever reason you deem appropriate.
There are leftovers in the fridge and I don’t have to make dinner? I found all the sock’s mates from the dryer? My crabby neighbor smiled at me?
ALL reasons you need pink bubbly for a celebration!
A gentle recap: any celebration deserves bubbly.
It’s a motto to live by, y’all!
If you ask me (I know yer wondering): This is one of the best champagnes for $20.
Technically, it’s not a literal champagne, but a bubbly Moscato.
Moscato is sweet, so when you add bubbles, it’s reminiscent of the best sweet champagnes.
A gal can dream!
Either way it’s light, delicious, an adorable pink hue and under $20 – it’s a stinkin’ steal.
~ A gentle reminder: OMT! uses Amazon referral links at no cost to you.~
Winery: Barefoot Wine & Bubbly
Winemaker: Jen Wall
Three Word Taste Summary: raspberry, orange blossom, strawberry
Food Pairings: Fruit Kabobs, Carmelized Onion Bruschetta, Spicy Cuisine
Wine Event and Competition Awards: Most Awarded Wine Brand
Tasting Notes: Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato is sweet & juicy with explosive aromas and flavors.
Best served chilled (36-40 degrees F), this bubbly has aromas and flavors of jasmine and Mandarin orange complemented by red raspberry, strawberry and pomegranate.
Enjoy the creamy and juicy finish!
Please tell me you have tried this sparkling champagne…TELL ME!
If you haven’t: the time is N-O-W.
If you have, SALUD!
Where in the heck can you find a delightful bottle?
Luckily, it’s not too hard.
Try locating a bottle locally. You’ll save a couple of bucks per bottle (that’s right, you’ll def need more than one bottle).
Start with a local Specs or grocery chain..
If they don’t have it…
If you can’t find it locally, get to ordering!
Need to know how to open champagne?
Check this video out:
The most important tips to remember once the cage is off:
#1: Point bottle away from you and start to slowly turn the bottle while holding the cork in place OR slowly turn the bottle while slowly turning cork in opposite direction.
#2: As the cork starts to come loose, keep slowly turning the bottle while slowly pulling the cork until you hear the soft POP!
FUN BUBBLY BONUS: How to Weekend 101
My sister came to visit on a weekend.
We had a little bit of fun, as sisters are known to do.
OK, fine, we had a little bit more than that…
We had two bottle worth of fun!
If you look closely, there’s also cake on the table.
Cake and Pink Champagne?!
It’s how to weekend, y’all.
Perhaps I should write an e-book, so everyone can weekend like we do.
Mmmmm, pink bubbly and cake weekend.
If you leave here with only one thought, I’d like it to be this: Do not be fooled by the Barefoot brand.
Wondering how much Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato will set you back?
Ever’where I go, I see it for around $10 and change – THAT’S IT!
The enjoyment of those sweet tickly bubbles is worth every penny.
We weekend right, mah babies.
PRO LIFE TIP: It’s always a smart idea to hydrate when weekending, with any alkeehols
Witness my fridge: I practice what I preach.
The absolute truth is, I try to keep a bottle on hand at ALL TIMES! because you just never know when you’ll have reason to celebrate.
No snow on the ground? You found one last cookie in the bag? Someone said you look too young to be a grandmama?!
See how important it is to keep a bottle on hand?
Such a beauty: Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato Champagne NV 750 ml.
(image source: Amazon)
One more tip!
Planning a party and need something fun to slip in the favor bag?
They come in individual sizes too!
Now, you’re the hostess with the mostest!
To many many more happy celebrations, no matter what you are toasting.
(and as always, please drink responsibly)
Updated post – original post date: 3-19-13.
To barefoot how champagne open
No need to scream "duck" as you wrench out the cork. Jack Mason, a master sommelier at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Texas, walks T&C; through the proper method for opening a bottle of bubbly.
1. Make Sure the Bottle Is Chilled
The bottle of champagne or sparkling wine should be properly chilled to around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If it isn't cold enough, the pressure inside the bottle will cause the cork to release very quickly. That's when you get a geyser and a dangerous projectile.
Pro Tip: For a quick way to cool down your bottle (and to keep cold bottles very cold), use a mixture of 50 percent ice and 50 percent water. That liquid mixture means more of the surface area of the bottle is being cooled.
Hannah Thomson Photography
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2. Use a Wine Key to Cut off the Foil Below the Large Lip of the Bottle
Although all sparkling wines have a tab to help open the bottle, most of the time the tab fails to make its way around the bottle leaving an ugly mess of excess foil. Cutting the foil creates an even, clean line around the bottle so that once the foil is removed, the cork and cage are exposed.
Pro Tip: If the wine was in an ice bath, ensure the bottle is dried off so the bottle doesn't sleep out of your hands.
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3. Use a Napkin or Towel.
Fold a napkin or kitchen towel lengthwise and put it over the cage and the cork. This creates another measure safety that can help prevent the cork from flying off like a bullet.
Safety is paramount when opening sparkling wine since the pressure behind the cork is around 90 psi. To put this into perspective, that's three times the pressure of most car tires.
4. Untwist the cage counterclockwise, putting pressure on the cork to keep it from popping out prematurely.
It's best to hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle. Untwist the "O" six times and then loosen the cage all the way around the bottle.
5. Twist the bottle—not the cork.
Once the cage is loosened, begin to extract the cork by keeping pressure around the cork and twisting the bottle. If you twist the cork, it can break inside the bottle.
6.Once the bottle starts to loosen from the cork and is able to spin freely, begin to slowly pull the cork away from the bottle.
Do this until the pressure in the bottle begins to push the cork out naturally. Once you feel the cork begin to move on its own, push against the cork gentle to keep it from releasing too quickly.
7. Now that the pressure of the bottle is driving the cork out, you can control how quickly the cork separates itself from the bottle.
The slower the cork separates itself from the bottle, the more gentle the hiss that will occur. People are always wowed when a bottle of sparkling wine is opened with barely a blip—aim for that.
9. Once the cork is removed, give the lip of the bottle a quick wipe and then serve it.
Use your favorite glasses—white wine glasses—not flutes—actually work best.
Buy NowRiedel Veritas Champagne Wine Glass, Set of Two, $44.32
Sam DangremondContributing Digital EditorSam Dangremond is a Contributing Digital Editor at Town & Country, where he covers men's style, cocktails, travel, and the social scene.
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Opening Champagne bottles and other sparkling wines...
Opening Champagne, along with other sparkling wines needs care and attention beyond what a regular wine bottle demands...
Unlike their flat, no-fizz siblings, bubbly wines like Champagne and Spumante require a completely different approach to be opened.
In fact, if you were to try to open a bubbly wine using a regular wine’s corkscrew, you could in fact end up with the cork and corkscrew flying out with a vengeance right towards your eye!
Instead of risking unnecessary flying objects and injury, heed this simple advice: never use a corkscrew on a bottle of bubbly!
What to do instead? Read on.
Before Opening Champagne...
First of all, calm your bubbly wine down by either letting it sit upright for several hours, or ideally up to a day. If time is of the essence, you can submerge it into a filled ice bucket for around a half hour to achieve the same effect.
Just make sure you’re aware of how much cooler the wine is below its regular serving temperature. Chilled sparkling does not mean ice cold like a beer, so after its half hour ice box vacation, keep it at room temperature for several minutes to reach its ideal serving temperature.
Bubbly wine corks are also shaped differently than with regular wines - with a mushroom top that protrudes out of the bottle’s rim that’s encased with a thin wire netting that looks a bit like a cage. This is meant to keep the cork in place despite the pressurized wine below that’s inevitably trying to push the cork out and escape!
Opening Champagne Step-by-Step:
- To remove the cork, carefully unhinge the wire cage from the cork top, while always holding one hand atop the cork as a precaution - without the cage, the cork might pop out on its own due to the highly pressurized wine inside, so don’t be distracted when removing the wire, and point the bottle top away from people and breakable objects.
- At this point the mushroom top gives you ample grip to simply grab and yank out the cork. While this bravado opening will create a loud pop - just like in the movies - beware that much of the wine will come cascading down the bottle and onto the floor, and wine gone to unnecessary waste as stickiness on the floor to be mopped up the morning after isn’t all too classy at all...
- Instead, you want the cork to simply ‘sigh’ while being gently removed. Position the bottle at a 45 degree angle, wrap a thin towel around the bottle neck to prevent spillage and to provide you a good grip, and plant the bottle base firmly in your hip bone for support.
- Now, instead of twisting out the cork, try twisting the bottle instead to gain the most control over how the cork will finally emerge. When the cork starts poking out of the bottle, you actually push down on it gently, so the cork will emerge slowly, gently, and with a hiss instead of a pop.
Opening Champagne Tip:
If you come across an especially stubborn Champagne cork, run the bottle neck under warm water for three to five minutes.
This sudden heat should agitate the carbonation inside the top of the bottle enough to want to push out the cork faster.
It’s a similar effect to shaking up a can of soda!
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