The Best Way to Pop the Top!
Is there anything more exciting than having a new bottle of wine to open up and enjoy? It’s a particularly fun moment if you’re new to wine and have a new-to-you varietal in hand that you’re ready to discover. Let’s pop open that bottle and let the adventure begin, shall we?
If you’re new to wine, opening that bottle may prove a bit of a challenge … How exactly do you open a bottle of corked wine? What tools do you need? We’re here to give you the fool-proof way to open up your bottle of wine! We even have a few tips and tricks for those moments when you don’t have a traditional wine opener on hand. Yes – it can be done! But enough chatter, you still have a bottle of wine to open. Let’s talk about some of the best ways to get into that fresh bottle of vino!
Common Wine Opening Tools
The easiest and most recommended way to open a bottle of wine is with a tool that is built specifically for the task at hand! If wine is a hobby that you plan on pursuing past one bottle, consider getting one of the two most common wine openers out there – a wine key or a winged corkscrew.
A wine key, or waiter’s corkscrew, kind of looks like a swiss army knife, but all of the tools in this handy contraption make opening a wine bottle super easy! Typically, a wine key will have a foil cutter, a lever, and a “worm” (or corkscrew).
To open a bottle with a wine key, you must first use the foil cutter to remove the top part of the foil from the bottle, exposing the top of the cork. You can of course skip this step if your bottle does not include a foil cap. Some winemakers do not finish their bottles with this foil capsule as it is applied simply for aesthetic purposes – the cork in a standard wine bottle cannot be removed and replaced fully without appearing obviously tampered with, and so is considered sealed even without this foil enclosure.
Then, use the “worm” to screw into the center of the cork. From here, use the lever to pry the cork out of the bottle, using the shorter notch on the side first to get the best angle, and then the longer notch if needed. You’ll have that bottle opened and ready to drink in no time!
The winged corkscrew works similarly to a wine key, but many people find that it is easier to use when removing the cork from your bottle of wine. After removing the foil from the top of your bottle, a winged corkscrew is designed for you to easily center the screw before twisting it into the cork. The “wings” on either side of the winged corkscrew act as levers, so you can easily push down on the wings to make the cork come up and out of the wine bottle.
What if You Don’t Have a Wine Opener?
We’ve all been there, you have a bottle of wine that you can’t wait to get into, and to your absolute dismay, there’s not a wine opener in sight. So, what do you do? All hope is not lost, there are alternatives to wine openers out there that you can use. Let’s get a little creative and take a look at the other ways you can open a wine bottle.
If you’ve got a spatula, ladle, or wooden spoon with a handle that is narrow enough to fit into the neck of a wine bottle, you’re in luck. This may just be your ticket to opening that wine! In this method, you will use the handle of your utensil to push the cork into the wine bottle rather than prying it out. It sounds crazy, but it really works! Just find a muscular friend to assist you if needed, and you’ll have that bottle open in no time.
Screw, Screwdriver, and Plyers
This method mimics the same mechanics as a normal wine opener, but it uses some rather industrial materials. To open your bottle of wine this way, you will need a screw, preferably one that is pretty long, a screwdriver, and a pair of plyers or a hammer.
Firstly, you’ll need to use the screwdriver to get the screw into the center of the top of the cork. Then, use the plyers (or the back of a hammer) to slowly work the cork out of the bottle.
The Shoe Method
This may be the strangest method you’ve heard of so far, but hear us out! To successfully use the shoe method to open a bottle of wine, all you need is – you guessed it – a shoe. So how exactly will this work, you might wonder? That’s a great question, and we’ve got an answer for you!
Firstly, you’ll need to firmly hold your bottle of wine upside down between your legs using one hand to keep the bottle steady. Then, use your free hand to carefully, but firmly, strike the bottom of the bottle with your shoe. Each hit should dislocate the cork from the bottle, bit by bit. Start with just a few strikes at first to gauge the number of hits you’ll need. Once the cork reaches the top of the bottleneck, you should be able to pull it out with your hand.
Screw Top Wine
There’s one way to avoid the hassle of removing a wine cork altogether, and that is not to buy wine with a cork in the first place! There are a plethora of complex, delicious wines out there that use a screw top. New Zealand, renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc wines, has long pushed a major initiative to move all bottles from cork to screw top. If you want to completely eliminate the need for a wine opener, this is probably your best bet.
Opening a bottle of wine is easy with the right tools and know-how! Even without the right tools, there are still ways to break into that much-needed bottle of vino. All it takes is a little bit of grit and creativity! Once that bottle is open, be sure to enjoy every sip of that glass (or two) that you pour for yourself. You’ve definitely earned it!