The Recalcitrant Cork: Technical Notes

Opening a bottle of wine without a corkscrew is dead easy but still stumps many people. I've seen people google for this before so I figured I might as well provide an answer for those googlers. It basically boils down to two steps:

What You'll Need

You'll need to have a few tools around. Luckily, it's a lot more likely you'll have these things than a corkscrew -- or you wouldn't be here. The things you'll need are:

What You'll Do

Step 1 - go somewhere safe

Go to that place where you can spill wine. Trust me on this one. I've learned the hard way and scraping wine off your walls with a light abrasive sponge sucks.

Step 2 - point bottle away.

Grab the bottle as I do in the Figure 1. Trust me on this one. I've learned the hard way here too and getting wine shot at a high velocity into your eyes sucks (it was the same evening that I got wine on the walls).

Step 3 - push cork in

Push the cork in slowly with the long wider object. I can't emphasize the speed bit enough. Sometimes its hard to get it to budge but it will. Putting a huge amount of pressure means a lot of pressure will be released. It may be unavoidable but don't be surprised.

Step 4 - push cork back for first glass

The cork is in but you're still not off the hook. Because the wine in the bottle is so far up, the cork will pop right back into the neck and block it when you try to pour. What this means is that you will get no wine, or a tiny trickle, until it reaches a level where the cork can fall back into the bottle -- and then floodgates will open.

The way to get around this to to take that long thin object and push it all the way into the bottle as you poor the first glass. You can see that in Figure 2.

Step 5 - enjoy

After the first glass, you can just ignore the fact that it has a cork floating it in. Enjoy.

Figure 1

Figure 2