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I Tried 6 No-Corkscrew Wine-Opening Hacks And Here's What Actually Worked

Anything can be a wine opener if you just believe... Right?

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There comes a time in every wine lover's life when she snuggles in for the night with a bodacious bottle and realizes... Shit. There is not a wine opener in sight.

The last time this happened to me, my fiancé and I were on a road trip and stopped in a motel. We'd picked up some wine but didn't think to get a screw cap, and we were left to figure out how to open it ourselves. I googled "how to open wine bottle without corkscrew" and learned that many, many other people have experienced the same crisis I was in.

In a service to unprepared wine lovers everywhere, I wanted to check out six popular hacks to open wine without a proper wine opener. This is my journey.

Andrew Richard

1. I would use the same brand of cheap red wine for every experiment.

2. I would have to attempt each experiment for 30 minutes and if, after that time had passed, I saw no results, I was allowed to give up.

3. Obviously I had to drink the wine we opened at some point. No wasting over here.

1. The Shoe Hack

Andrew Richard

All right, so the shoe maneuver seemed pretty basic. All you have to do is put the bottom of your wine bottle in your shoe and...slam it against the wall. Wrapping a towel around the bottle is encouraged, even though I forgot. I watched my fiancé successfully do it, and since I'm a strong, independent lady, I wanted to make sure I could do it too.

RESULT:

SO. This was way more difficult and very unsuccessful when I used my sneaker. I switched to a boot with a wooden bottom and banged away. It was very loud (I'm sorry, neighbors!) and extremely tiring, but I was encouraged by the cork moving little by little out of its home. Including a few breaks (hey, these guns can only take so much), this took me about an hour and a half, but it worked!!! I did lose some wine to the floor in the process. The cork literally flew across my apartment at the wonderful photographer, Taylor. He wasn't pleased, but hey, no one lost an eye.

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Total Time: ~One hour and 30 minutes

Difficulty: 10/10

Wine Lost: About one-fourth of the bottle

RESULT:

Taylor Miller

I KNOW there are probably people who can get this to work. Maybe I gave up too easily. Maybe I didn't want it bad enough. All I know is that I tried for a good 20 minutes to no avail — not even a tiny bit of budging! I was left weeping on the floor without the one thing that could soothe me: my sweet, sweet wine.

Total time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: 11/10, accounting for the emotional difficulty of not being able to do something everyone says is "easy"

Wine Lost: None, not even in my belly

3. The Paper Clip Hack

Andrew Richard

Method: So the "engineering" of this seemed sound: You're just supposed to put two paper clips in the cork and then turn them so they act as a kind of hook. Then, you attach another paper clip on top to pull up on. Easy, right? WRONG.

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RESULT:

Taylor Miller

Maybe SOMEONE can wedge paper clips in there (the Hulk??), but it's not easy. Also, I had to go out and buy paper clips because I don't have them just lying around my house. Anyways. This was a failure. Did not work, wouldn't even attempt again.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: 10/10

Wine Lost: None

4. The Screw and Wrench Hack

Andrew Richard

Method: The principle here makes a lot of sense: Instead of a corkscrew, you just find yourself a regular ol' screw and leverage it the same way. The wrench (or hammer if that's your thing) then is used to pull up on the cork and get it out.

RESULT:

Taylor Miller

The good news: The wine came out. The bad news: It went everywhere.

I could not get the wrench to work. The screw went in, but it wouldn't come up, no matter how hard I pulled. Maybe I'm just a weak baby, but you know what? So is the average human. I then tried the hammer, but the backside was too small for the screw (LOL). So then I did something so stupid, I almost don't want to publish it online. The short story is: I banged the screw with the hammer out of desperation, and it started working. Obviously, having a glass bottle get banged against a wood surface would cause it to break. But I was too distracted by the promise of success and I became mad with power. Soon enough: BAM. Wine everywhere.

Total Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: 3/10

Wine Lost: Literally all of it

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RESULT:

Taylor Miller

This "worked," but not using the method. I basically jammed the scissors in, realized it would be a fucking disaster to pull up on the handle, and instead whittled away at the cork. A hole formed, and I thought I could just pour the wine through, but the cork shavings kept getting stuck. Eventually, I pushed on through and you guessed it: WINE EXPLODED IN MY FACE, ON MY DOG, ON MY WALLS. IT GOT EVERYWHERE.

Total Time: 10 minutes

Difficulty: 2/10

Wine Lost: Around one-fourth of the bottle

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RESULT:

Taylor Miller

This made me the most upset: It was impossible to get my keys in the cork as seamlessly as in the video. I tried all the keys I had at my disposal. IDK, maybe the guy had a really sharp key? And if so, where do you get those? I suspect this might have worked if I had whittled away at the cork like I did with the scissors, but alas. I was too tired.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: 12/10, again accounting for emotional difficulty of being told it would be easy

Wine Lost: N/A

Winner: The Shoe

Taylor Miller

While there are inherent drawbacks to the shoe technique (mainly: it takes a while, is VERY loud, and you must use a shoe with a wooden sole), it was the only hack that worked and didn't leave the wine full of cork.

Note: I definitely should've worn safety goggles throughout this experiment. Be careful, please!

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