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It's interesting because many characteristics carry over to other areas. For example, we didn't have a wine opener at a hotel with my wife's brother (a youth pastor). Before I got back to the room he got started on it and used a knife to effectively drill out the cork, the obvious cost here is that you've turned the cork into sawdust. The wine was pretty terrible so i had him filter it through a coffee filter. It was still terrible, but as i walked to the room i thought about a few approaches and their associated costs, he busy did the first thing that came to mind. I found the "non engineering approach" very interesting. If course every solution has costs, his was sawdust filled wine. Mine was having to push a cork out of the way to pour.

pro-tip: I've seen demonstrated, if you repeatedly whack the bottom of a bottle of wine with the heel of your shoe (or, in a similar manner, smack the bottom of a bottle of wine against a tree trunk) the cork will slowly emerge on its own.

It occurs to me if you get it wrong, glass shards from the bottle could emerge before submerging into your flesh, so perform this trick at your own risk.

I've seen a variant of this attempted.

One of my colleagues put a wine bottle into a shoe, so the base of the bottle was resting where your heel would go. Then repeatedly 'tapped' the bottle/shoe combination heel first against the wall. Apparently hoping the hydraulic rebound would cause the cork to back out.

The bottle smashed. The concrete wall was permanently stained, the shoe was ruined and the carpet needed to be cleaned.

Very entertaining, but not terribly useful.

PLEASE don't do this. A friend of mine had done it a few times and was getting confident in the process. Once I was watching him, the bottle broke into tiny pieces and went straight into his hand. He had around 30 pieces of shattered glass that managed their back several centimeters deep inside. I still remember calling emergency and waving hands when they arrived so that they saw us. My friend came back a few days after with his hand wrapped in band after a pretty awful night in hospital. Pretty stupid idea if you ask me. Don't do it. Remember one hand is one half of your text editor...

Have you ever tried to break a wine bottle? They're pretty sturdy. This is actually not very difficult to do:


Although, I would think borrowing a wine opener from reception would've been the easiest approach in this case.

Pro-tip: slowly twisting the cork out of the bottle (as if it were a screw) would eventually cause it to pop out. No need for a wine opener.

I do this anytime I don't have a wine opener handy.

In many wines the cork is fully inside the bottle, there's nowhere to grip it.

GP post is right, but left out a detail. I have used this trick multiple times and it usually impressed people:

Scenario is wine with cork fully inside bottle. Take a long slender knife, stab through the center of the cork as far as possible. Twist and and pull, with very little pull and lots of twist. Cork comes out. The key here is that the pressure of twisting prevents most of the slippage that would happen if you just pulled the knife out.

Enjoy impressing friends/family.

It's a bit nerve-wracking reading people who use their fingers for a living doing stuff that risks permanently injuring those fingers!

The infantry grunt knuckledragger side of me (large prefrontal cortex) sometimes ignores such obviously real risks because they seem so minimal compared to past experience. (Which is dangerous in itself. This kind of thinking got more of my buddies killed in motorcycle accidents stateside than did in combat) Point is, you are right to be concerned about safety, but I would argue this particular method is pretty safe if done right. I mean, step 1 is stab the cork, thats not hard to do. I guess the knife could slip and come out quickly, but thats what the lateral pressure of the twist is there to prevent.

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