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November 28, 2012 9:09 AM   Subscribe

"Wine. The nectar of the gods. But what if your corkscrew mysteriously goes missing?" Here are seven ways to remove a cork from a wine bottle without a proper corkscrew. [slyt] [via] [previously]

[warning: some of these are probably pretty dangerous and you'd most likely be better off just going and finding the right tool...]
posted by quin (48 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Related: saber fail.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:15 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The knife method takes me back to my college days. Unless you like to spill wine everywhere and slash your fingers and possibly break your knife blades, I do not recommend it.

These days my go-to method for opening wine when I can't find the corkscrew is to use the back-up corkscrew. Works like a charm.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:17 AM on November 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


Several of these are "Find something that mechanically is a corkscrew", the rest are just awful.
posted by odinsdream at 9:17 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of amazed that the bike pump method made the least mess of any of them.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:18 AM on November 28, 2012


Once got the same results as saber fail with a bottle of champagne whose cork cap had snapped off and whose cork body we tried to remove with a corkscrew. Exciting! No idea if this result is inevitable.
posted by BWA at 9:21 AM on November 28, 2012


Seems like the easiest thing to do in that situation is to push the cork into the bottle, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead and all that jazz.

Since the link is "Seven ways to remove a cork..." I'm guessing this isn't covered.

On preview: the bike pump method made the least mess

Ok, this convinced me, I'll watch the damn video.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:21 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


They overlooked the most basic method of all, pushing the cork into the bottle.
posted by scose at 9:21 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


A few Decembers back, we were doing a circuit of wineries in the lower Hudson valley and realized that we'd bought many bottles of wine but had no corkscrew.

One of our party was wearing a really amazing Christmas hat, I don't remember if it was Santa going down the chimney or a light-up Christmas tree or what, but it should be enough to know that it was a remarkable hat, and that we'd been drinking for several hours and no longer found it unusual.

Of course he was the one who decided to go into the winery's gift shop to buy a corkscrew. He came back too many minutes later with a very nice corkscrew that he didn't have to pay for because the clerk was so impressed with his hat.

So method #8 ought to be "sweet hat."
posted by uncleozzy at 9:22 AM on November 28, 2012 [23 favorites]


I think the idea is that you don't want to spoil the nuanced flavors of Sutter Home by pushing the cork in.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:23 AM on November 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


They overlooked the most basic method of all, pushing the cork into the bottle.

This is also how we ruined a hotel room in the lower Hudson valley.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:23 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is also how we ruined a hotel room in the lower Hudson valley.

I feel like you must be referencing some crazy, mostly forbidden sex act instead of pushing a cork into a wine bottle.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:25 AM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you are so desperate for alcohol that you are willing to risk death to get the cork out, maybe just buy screw-top vodka in the first place.
posted by DU at 9:25 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]



[warning: some of these are probably pretty dangerous and you'd most likely be better off just going and finding the right tool...]


Or just stick to drinking cardbordeaux.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:26 AM on November 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


DU, obviously the liquor store is long closed, you are too drunk to drive, or you are camping.
posted by scose at 9:26 AM on November 28, 2012


Also, I like the assumption that I have multiple kinds of screws (true!), pliers (true!), a bike pump (true!) but not a ball needle (false!). If you are going to pump it out, that's going to be far far easier than boring a 1/4" hole in the cork. Besides which, once you bored the hole--use it to pour the wine!
posted by DU at 9:30 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel like you must be referencing some crazy, mostly forbidden sex act instead of pushing a cork into a wine bottle.

Well, there were purple stains all over the walls and ceiling, so draw your own conclusions.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:34 AM on November 28, 2012


These are kinda bullshit.

The preferred method is buy screw tops while travelling. Barring that assuming you are in a hotel room take a dime and a hotel coat hanger, the kind without the hook but rather the ball that hangs straight from the anti-hangar-theft-measure type hook.

Remove foil, put the dime onto of the cork, it should be just a tiny bit smaller than the opening. Wrap the bottles in towels. Push the dime/cork into the bottle with the coat hangar, works better in classy joints with wooden coat hangers. Make sure you had your towels positioned correctly otherwise be covered in wine. Works better from the perspective of the hotel laundry service only on whites.

But seriously, just buy a screw top.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:34 AM on November 28, 2012


Is the shoe method there? Because if it is I will be upset. I have never, ever managed to get the cork to budge even a hair's breadth using that method. I am convinced it's an internet joke.
posted by Decani at 9:36 AM on November 28, 2012


I went to a friend's house recently and had brought a bottle of wine with a screw top. While talking to his wife, I hadn't noticed that he had bored a hole in the top of the cap trying to use a corkscrew to open the bottle.
posted by perhapses at 9:43 AM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised they didn't include the single-sheet-of-paper method. That takes about 10 minutes, but it's never failed me yet, and no mess.
posted by gurple at 9:44 AM on November 28, 2012


I'm surprised they didn't include the single-sheet-of-paper method.

Is that where you use a $5 bill to buy a new corkscrew?
posted by dephlogisticated at 9:47 AM on November 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


But if you're in a hotel room you should ask the front desk if you can borrow a corkscrew
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:08 AM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Once ... in the wilds of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were forced to live on nothing but food and water for days."

WC Fields would have liked this information.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:21 AM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is the shoe method there? Because if it is I will be upset. I have never, ever managed to get the cork to budge even a hair's breadth using that method. I am convinced it's an internet joke.

Worked like a charm for me, the cork didn't budge a millimetre but after banging it on the wall for a while we got to meet the people next door and they always travel with a corkscrew.
posted by Cosine at 10:34 AM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


The shoe method takes too long, but a reasonable solution to bore a hole through the cork - which surely fills your wine with shreds of cork - and put a bike pump into it? Or combine drinking and KNIVES!? What maniac made this video?

The shoe method takes no more than a minute if you're doing it correctly (i.e. using plenty of force).
posted by notionoriety at 10:35 AM on November 28, 2012


A family member ended up needing pretty serious hand surgery after using the knife method. As in, tendon snapped up into elbow and they had to go fishing for it.
posted by oflinkey at 10:36 AM on November 28, 2012


The bicycle pump method is basically a Corkette.
posted by xedrik at 10:37 AM on November 28, 2012


Well, there were purple stains all over the walls and ceiling, so draw your own conclusions.

Grimace was never the same.
posted by inigo2 at 10:46 AM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


This video brought to you by your local, under-utilized ER.

Next week: Cat declawing without a vet or anaesthesia!
posted by lalochezia at 10:58 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was curious about this shoe method mentioned here, so I turned to youtube for help. The first result is this video, which appears to be a slightly intoxicated man, referred to as only "Johnny Bananas" by his friends, demonstrating this tactic.
posted by NerdcoreRising at 10:59 AM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's about right, but try not to be as annoying as him, I guess. Basically: insulate the bottle by putting the base into a shoe, as if the wine bottle was your leg (i.e. don't try to fit the whole thing inside the shoe or something). Turn the bottle horizontal and smack the base hard against something very solid (stone, concrete, solid wood - not plasterboard). Repeat until you can grip the cork, at which point turn the bottle the right way up and free your booze. If you find yourself without either a corkscrew or shoes, use something more precarious to insulate the bottle, like a towel. And maybe investigate where all your stuff went.
posted by notionoriety at 11:19 AM on November 28, 2012


Is the shoe method there? Because if it is I will be upset.

The shoe method is in the video, but it was called the "banging against the wall method", and panned as being ineffective.

I wish they had called it out as the shoe method, so that more people would google it, and experience the wonder that is Johnny Bananas.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:20 AM on November 28, 2012


One of our party was wearing a really amazing Christmas hat, I don't remember if it was Santa going down the chimney or a light-up Christmas tree or what, but it should be enough to know that it was a remarkable hat, and that we'd been drinking for several hours and no longer found it unusual. Of course he was the one who decided to go into the winery's gift shop to buy a corkscrew. He came back too many minutes later with a very nice corkscrew that he didn't have to pay for because the clerk was so impressed with his hat.

An old roommate told me a story about his parents going on vacation to Paris, and stopping to pick up some wine for a picnic the day before their flight home. They realized they didn't have a corkscrew, and his mother, in her painstaking high-school French, attempted to ask the clerk if they also sold corkscrews. Instead, the clerk took a corkscrew off his keychain and handed it to her. His mother again attempted to explain, via high-school French and pantomime, that no, they couldn't borrow his corkscrew, they would be leaving France forever the following day and she couldn't accept it, even though it was kind of him, so...he just again put the corkscrew in her hand, closed her hand around it, and waved and said "Au revoir."

So method 9 may just be "be a slightly dizzy American tourist in France."

(His parents ended up keeping the corkscrew and framing it along with a card stating "This Corkscrew Presented to Mrs. B By The Citizens Of Paris In the Year 1993" or whatever year it was. Apparently framing and displaying things was what they did with lots of unintentionally funny stuff.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:53 AM on November 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


My solution is to keep spares. There's one in my purse, one in my laptop bag, one in the car. If we manage to misplace all of our corkscrews, it must have been a hell of a wine tour!
posted by MissySedai at 12:11 PM on November 28, 2012


Step 1) Cut the box open
Step 2) Pour wine into blue plastic cup
Step 3) Supplement with Cheetos
Step 4) Graduate from elementary school, start drinking hard liquor
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:27 PM on November 28, 2012


I wonder if I can carry cup hooks on domestic US flights, since they won't let me carry my corkscrew anymore. Or sometimes they do; sometimes the confiscate it; and I'm tired of buying new ones all the time when I'm just overnight in the damn hotel and don't want to put on pants so room service can open the wine for me.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:33 PM on November 28, 2012


These are either obvious (use another screw instead of a corkscrew), or sloppy (a nail?), or dangerous (you stabbed your hand with a knife doing what?), or dumb (you don't have a corkscrew, but you have a drill to bore a hole in the cork? Where the hell are you?

And can we please flush term "life hacks" down the toilet? It's like saying "personal identity appellation" instead of "name".
These are handy hints, tips, techniques, or tricks, and not very good ones.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:07 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, "life hacks" is right up there with "maker".
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 1:22 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who's dumber. A wine drinker without a corkscrew or a pot smoker with no papers or pipe?
posted by surplus at 1:29 PM on November 28, 2012


Am I the only person who has kept a Swiss Army knife with a corkscrew in his pocket since he was 15 years old? I never go anywhere without it. Well, except for airports. But then it's in my checked luggage.
posted by Splunge at 2:57 PM on November 28, 2012


A wine drinker without a corkscrew or a pot smoker with no papers or pipe?

Soda can.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:00 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


GAH OBNOXIOUS EDITING.

Why do people even use the half-second of video snow shot transition gimmick anymore, now that everyone's TVs have conspired to save us from snow for years now? And if you invent a lame pun, like DRUNK DRAWER, we don't need your cleverness, or whatever it is you think you have, blown up in large letters on the screen as your narrator says it.

Could they have even FOUND a smarmier voice to narrate? He even calls the problem cork a "bad boy" at one point.

Crippity-crappity, time to get slappity!
posted by JHarris at 4:08 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


A pipe is much easier to improvise.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:08 PM on November 28, 2012


apple.
posted by Earthtopus at 5:17 PM on November 28, 2012


I thought wine corks were just quirky a footnote in antiquity. I don't think I've ever seen one in any of the boxes of wine I've ever bought.
posted by neversummer at 5:18 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Its not a real Swiss Army knife if it doesn't have a corkscrew.
posted by buzzman at 5:53 PM on November 28, 2012


All I can say is that someone needs to design a TSA-non-threatening corkscrew because I've lost two non-bladed ones.
posted by smirkette at 6:11 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Splunge: "Am I the only person who has kept a Swiss Army knife with a corkscrew in his pocket since he was 15 years old? I never go anywhere without it. Well, except for airports. But then it's in my checked luggage."

Well, last trip I took, I FedExed/ExpressMailed my Swiss ahead of me, as I was worried it might, ahem, disappear from my loggage.
posted by Samizdata at 6:35 PM on November 28, 2012


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