5 Ways to Open a Bottle of Wine

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5 Ways to Open a Bottle of Wine
5 Ways to Open a Bottle of Wine

The first step in having a nice glass of wine is opening the bottle… and there are many ways to get the cork out intact! You can use a regular or sommelier-style corkscrew or even resort to alternative shapes. Read the tips in this article to learn exactly what to do and worry no more.


Method 1 of 5: Opening the Bottle with a Double Lever Corkscrew

Open a Bottle of Wine Step 1

Step 1. Peel the plastic on top of the cork with a knife

Few double-lever corkscrews have a knife. Therefore, use a regular sharp kitchen knife to remove the plastic.

  • If that's the case, I'll use the integrated corkscrew knife!
  • Anyway, be careful not to cut yourself.

Step 2. Place the corkscrew in the right position

Place the tip of the corkscrew in the middle of the cork and squeeze lightly. At that point, the levers will be down.

Insert the tip of the corkscrew into the cork, but do not exert so much force for the time being

Step 3. Turn the corkscrew handle clockwise to insert it into the cork

Hold the wine bottle and corkscrew handle with one hand and use the other to rotate the piece. At this point, the levers will gradually rise.

  • Continue turning the handle until you extend the levers for good. They have to be parallel to the table and perpendicular to the bottle.
  • The corkscrew will be well positioned when the levers are extended. Stop spinning, or you might end up going through the cork and dropping a few pieces of it into the wine.

Step 4. Squeeze the levers to pull the cork

Place the bottle on the table and use your hands to lower the corkscrew levers and, thus, gradually uncapping. Use strength, but be careful.

If the cork doesn't move so much, shake the corkscrew slightly and see if the situation improves. If it doesn't improve, rotate the equipment again and repeat the process

Method 2 of 5: Using a Sommelier Corkscrew

Step 1. Cut the plastic on top of the cork with the corkscrew knife

The sommelier-style corkscrew, also known as the single-lever model, has a folding knife at one end and a spiral at the other. Open the knife and use it to rip the plastic right in the mouth of the bottle. Then put the accessory away again.

  • Some corkscrews of this model have a sharp disc, instead of a small knife, which is used to cut the plastic.
  • Cut the plastic just under the mouth of the bottle to prevent it from touching the wine when serving - which can affect the taste.

Step 2. Open the corkscrew lever and insert the end of the corkscrew

Place the tip of the corkscrew in the middle of the cork, insert it lightly and start to turn clockwise. Spin about six times, until only one metal spiral is visible.

  • Do not twist the corkscrew too much, or pieces of the cork may end up falling into the wine.
  • On the other hand, if you don't turn it enough, the cork can break into two halves during extraction.

Step 3. Lower the corkscrew lever for more control

Bend the lever towards the neck of the bottle. It usually has two small marks on the inside, which help to hold the bottle during the process and prevent accidents with the glass.

  • If the stopper is still not loose, place the lever snug against the neck and repeat the process until you go forward.
  • If nothing works, it may be that you have not inserted the corkscrew correctly. In that case, rotate it more times and try to repeat the process.

Step 4. Pull the corkscrew handle to extract the cork

Raise the lever to form a "T" with the corkscrew, then pull it hard to remove the cork. If necessary, shake the piece slightly if it shows resistance.

  • If you can't get the cork out of the bottle, push the corkscrew deeper, use the lever and try pulling the handle again.
  • Generally, sommeliers in more expensive restaurants use the corkscrew to leave the cork halfway through and finish the process by hand. Afterwards, they leave the piece on the table for customers to see that the wine is fresh.

Method 3 of 5: Using a Screw and Pliers

Step 1. Cut the plastic on top of the stopper

Use a kitchen knife to remove the plastic from the mouth of the bottle.

Be careful with the knife. Nothing spoils a night of fun like cutting your own skin trying to open the wine

Open to Bottle of Wine Step 10

Step 2. Take a clean 2-inch screw and good pliers

Generally, a wine stopper is about 4.5 cm long. Therefore, you have to pierce it until it passes the tip by about 0.5 centimeters. The screw must not touch the wine - but if it does, wash it off with soap and water.

  • If you want to clean the screw further after washing, disinfect it with a little isopropyl alcohol for a minute or two. If you prefer something even safer, sterilize it with boiling water for five to 15 minutes and allow it to cool.
  • You can also take a chance with a shorter screw, but one that is at least 4 cm long.

Step 3. Turn the screw clockwise against the stopper using a screwdriver

Sink the screw into the middle of the stopper to start. Then rotate it until only 1.5 cm is left on top of the piece. You can try this with your fingers, but use the screwdriver if it gets difficult.

  • Turn the screw clockwise to insert it into the stopper (or any surface).
  • Be careful not to break the cork.
  • Do not let the screw pass the stopper underneath, or it may touch the wine. Use a piece 5 to 6 cm long, but leave 2.5 cm slack on top.

Step 4. Take the screw by the neck with the pliers and pull upwards

Fasten the screw tightly in the pliers, hold the bottle with the other hand and pull the stopper. Shake the tool a little if there is resistance.

  • If you prefer, you can use the ear (the part that pulls nails) of a hammer or other tool.
  • If the screw comes off, but part of the stopper remains, it's because you didn't insert the piece correctly. Repeat the process and push the screw deeper (still without piercing the stopper underneath).
Open a Bottle of Wine Step 13

Step 5. Use a hook-type screw instead of the normal one

Any hook at least 4 cm long will do. Turn it clockwise by hand until it penetrates the stopper about 4 cm, then pull.

  • You can use other types of hooks, such as bicycle hooks, to uncork wine bottles.
  • Thoroughly clean the hook (the same way you would clean the regular screw) before use.

Method 4 of 5: Hitting the bottle with a shoe

Open to Bottle of Wine Step 14

Step 1. Peel the plastic on top of the cork with a knife

Use a kitchen knife to remove the plastic from the mouth of the bottle.

Hold the bottle tightly with your free hand, but away from the knife

Open to Bottle of Wine Step 15

Step 2. Place the wine bottle upside down between your thighs

Sit on a sturdy chair and place the bottle between your legs. Point the neck down and the base up.

Hold the bottle near the base, which is now on top, with one hand

Step 3. Tap a shoe against the bottom of the bottle

Be careful, but be firm. Hold the bottle with your legs and one hand and use the other to tap the sole of a shoe against the base. Take two or three strokes to gradually loosen the cork.

  • Hit the base of the bottle with relative force so as not to break the glass or cause another problem. Moderate the intensity.
  • Well stabilize the bottle. In addition to using your legs, use your free hand as well.

Step 4. See if the stopper has come out a point and pull it by hand when you can

See if you've made any progress and keep tapping the bottle until the cork comes out a little and you can get the rest out by hand.

  • If the stopper doesn't move, turn the bottle upside down again and try a few more times.
  • Don't hit the bottle until the cork comes out, or the wine will fall to the floor!

Method 5 of 5: Taking a Normal Bottle Cap

Step 1. Rotate the bottle and cap in opposite directions

Grasp the base of the bottle with one hand and place the index finger and thumb of the other on the neck and cap. Then rotate the limbs in opposite directions until you hear the sound of the seal breaking.

  • Some people prefer to grasp the body of the bottle with the palm of their hand and the base with their fingers. Try both methods and see which is better.
  • You can also just hold the lid in your hand, but that makes things a little harder - even more so for people with arthritis.

Step 2. Rotate the neck of the bottle instead of the cap

Wine bottles that have a cap instead of a stopper often have a "neck" that is attached to the seal on the cap itself. Sometimes it rotates independently of the bottle's body. Pick it up with one hand and hold the base with the other. Then rotate the limbs in opposite directions until you hear the sound of the seal breaking.

Many people prefer to open the bottle this way, but this is not always possible

Open to Bottle of Wine Step 20

Step 3. Use a dish towel, pliers or other tool

If you can't hold the lid securely, place a tea towel between it and your hand. If even that doesn't work, grasp the cap tightly (but not overly so) with pliers and rotate the tool and bottle in opposite directions.

  • You can also buy specific tools for opening wine bottles. Some include silicone parts, for example. Try everything you can until you get it right.
  • Don't overtighten the pliers, or you could crush the cap and even break the mouth of the bottle, spilling the wine or injuring yourself.


  • If you have an old wine bottle that has accumulated sediment, put it aside until you want to drink it. When that day comes, carefully place it on an angled support. Remove the cork without changing the position (and without spilling the wine) and finally decant it.
  • You can buy an electric bottle opener to get the cork out without having difficulty.


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