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In Good Taste

Opening a Bottle of Wine

Opening a Bottle of Wine

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!

Purple Background Graphic with Overlaid Text that reads: Common Wine Opening Tools - 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.

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.

How to Open a Bottle of Wine with a WineKey

Wine Key

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!

How to Open a Wine Bottle with a Winged Corkscrew

Winged Corkscrew

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. 

Light Blue Background with Text Overlaid: 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

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. 

Pink background graphic with line drawing of a slotted wooden spoon, with text overlaid: Utensil Handle, If you've got a spatula, ladle, or a wooden spoon with a handle that is narrow enough to fit into the next of a wine bottle, you're in luck

Utensil handle

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. 

Open a Bottle of Wine with a Screwdriver

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. 

Graphic with Purple Background and line drawing of two tennis shoes. Text overlaid "The Shoe Method: This may be the strangest method you've heard so far, but hear us out!"

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. 

Graphic with Yellow Background and line drawing of a mini bottle of wine, with text overlaid: "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!"

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!

Rosé of Sangiovese


Sangiovese can be found in both the Chianti and Montalcino regions of Tuscany (it all sounds so romantic, right?) and is known for producing classic medium-bodied wines. Rosé wine is actually made from red grapes, and this is where the Rosé of Sangiovese comes to play. Crisp, fruit-forward, and easy-to-drink, it's everything you want in your bottle of Rosé and more.




Big, bold, and full of flavor—exactly what you’d expect an Italian wine to be! This classic Italian grape produces some of Italy’s most straightforward red wines and is often used as a blending grape. Not here, though. We let Montepulciano do the heavy lifting as a heavy red wine and shine on its own. If you enjoy the smell of leather bound books, nibbling on dried fruit, and complementary notes of bitter, dark chocolate and sweet plums, you will love this Italian wine. No need to pair it with any certain dish—Montepulciano tastes great with all the Italian classics.


Pinot Grigio

La Pluma

If you’re looking for more zest in your life, a bottle of Pinot Grigio can provide that. We included a classic Pinot Grigio in the La Pluma collection because we’re all about light and easy here, which is exactly what this grape from Italy is. It has that dry sense of humor that seems so effortless with a punchy acidity to keep you on your toes, all while offering notes of lemon, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle. Long story short; when it’s been a heavy day and your soul is seeking light things only, you’ll be happy to have this bottle on hand.


Pinot Noir


We couldn’t create the In Good Taste Unprecedented collection without the Golden Retriever of wines: Pinot Noir. Pinot is likable, it’s easy, and its natural state of being is simply charming. It’s an incredibly easy red wine to love, which is why so many people do. The grape itself is from the Burgundy region of France, but has made its way to California, Oregon, Australia, Italy, Argentina, and Germany since. Our Pinot Noir has no surprise twists—it’s a classic light red with just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for another glass (or two).


Coteaux Bourguignons


The Burgundy region of France is home to their best Pinot Noirs, but we took the grapes into our own hands to create something extra special with our Coteaux Bourguignons. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, which results in a French red that’s light in body but full in flavor. The ripest blueberries and freshest herbs can be easily detected in this French burgundy blend. May we suggest pairing it with some creamy brie and freshly baked bread? It’s a oui-ning combo.




A little sweet. A little tart. A little salty? You truly get it all with this white Italian wine. If you're into that biting acidity, Verdicchio will probably be high on your list of most-loved wines from our Andiamo collection. Citrus fruits like mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit are at the forefront, but what really sets this Italian wine apart is its distinct notes of almond. While our Verdicchio can start out tasting a bit tart, the more you sip, the smoother it becomes. In fact, we suggest approaching it as an aperitif (Italian for an alcoholic drink sipped before a meal to stimulate the appetite) to experience its full effect.


Côtes du Rhône White


This was one of our first French wines to join the Passport collection and one sip will explain why. Some background on the Rhône Valley in France: While this region is known for its dark, juicy reds, a very small amount of special white wines are made in the Rhône Valley. Our Côtes du Rhône is packed with French-perfected, floral flavor and Old-World charm. Its natural tang paired with the weighty Marsanne grape and aromatic Roussanne grape results in a crisp, savory sip that’ll transport you to a sunbathing chair by the Rhône itself.


Bordeaux Rouge


When you picture medieval folk sitting around a feast with goblets of wine, chances are they were drinking Bordeaux. This wine has been made in France since forever and is arguably the most classic French wine out there. Bordeaux is known for its full body, smoky notes, and rich, oaky taste. If you love cabs, chances are you will adore Bordeaux. For our Passport wines, we had to include this classic French red for you to sip and enjoy to your heart’s content. Best savored over a rich meal like lamb ragu, ratatouille, or BBQ.


Ventoux Rosé


You probably know that the Tour de France is held on Ventoux Mountain in France, but did you know that the same area is known for its high-altitude rosé? This is the kind of quintessential French rosé that you don’t need to spin your wheels over—it’s simply delicious, crisp, and perfect for warm weather. Despite its delicate, pale pink color, each sip is lush with flavor, from tropical passionfruit and zesty citrus to refreshing melon. This has the potential to be your new summer go-to, so we’d suggest stocking up.



La Pluma

We knew the only red in the La Pluma collection had to be exceptionally good and exceptionally light. That’s why including a Grenache was a no-brainer. If smooth, fruit-forward, light-bodied reds appeal to your tastebuds, this could be your new favorite. The grape itself is tricky; depending on the climate of where its grown, Grenache wines could be light, dense, or somewhere in the middle. La Pluma’s version has all the airiness and flavor notes we wanted in our Grenache, which is how we know you’ll love it. Get the most of this red by pairing it with roasted meats, spice-heavy vegetables, and Mexican-inspired dishes with lots of cumin.




We really try not to play favorites at In Good Taste, but there is just something about an Italian Barbera that hits different in the best way. Barberas are the perfect wine for pizza night; they're low in alcohol, and medium-bodied but taste super light, and their berry and plum flavors pair incredibly well with savory tomato sauce and cheese! Another fun thing about Barberas? They actually taste great when chilled, which is not something we're in the habit of suggesting for our red wines. Our Italian Barbera lies somewhere between the body of a cab and a pinot and is the ideal choice for a "ladies who lunch" kind of afternoon.



Wild Child

We couldn't not have a weird white in the mix, right?! The Vermentino grape is native along the coast of Italy on the island of Sardinia (yeah, like the fish). Because of its origin, this grape offers a salty, crisp flavor that's incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. We say it's "weird" only because it's not widely known by name, but chances are you've probably had it before if you've ever ordered white wine in an Italian restaurant. If you love peaches and lemons and get a kick out of anything that reminds you of the sea, our Vermentino is the perfect Italian white to experience on a sunny day outside.




For the Chardonnay lovers who are looking to dig a bit deeper in the world of bold whites, a Viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay) could be your next big adventure. Viogniers tend to have more range; while they can be creamy with hints of vanilla like their Chardonnay counterpart, they also offer lighter, fruitier flavors like tangerine, mango, and honeysuckle. It’s still a more full-bodied white wine, but unlike Chardonnay, it’s softer on acidity and more perfumed. Spend an afternoon with a glass of Viognier amongst the flowers and it’ll all make sense.


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