How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Lighter (And Other Cork Hacks)

Eli Smith
by Eli Smith

Whether your goal is to learn a cool party trick or you can’t find your corkscrew, knowing how to open a wine bottle with a lighter is a neat way to handle it. Some people doubt that you can do this, but science says otherwise. If you want to open your wine bottle with a lighter, we have a few simple steps to follow.

To open a wine bottle with a lighter, begin by removing all the wine cork covering. Next, light the flame against the glass about two inches under the cork stem. The heat will cause the carbonation in the bottle to expand, forcing the cork to pop out. Wait for the glass to cool-down before touching.

Below, we are going to dig into the science behind why this works. Also, we will give some additional options for opening wine bottles if you don’t like fire.

The Science Behind Why Opening A Wine Bottle With A Lighter Works

A cork is inserted into a wine bottle with a great deal of pressure. That is why when you remove the cork through any method, you can hear the carbonation respond with the sound of carbonation releasing. You can see the same effect with any can of soda, which hisses anytime you open it up.

Imagine you brought this liquid to the boiling point. While it is already full of champagne’s carbonation, adding heat will cause some of that gas to expand. The gas expands rapidly, putting more significant pressure on whatever is nearby. In this case, the only “give” comes from the nearby cork, which will slide up until it eventually pops.

While there is some worry that you will heat the wine and make it taste funny, your lighter isn’t anywhere near the wine. If you do place any heat source near the wine, expect this process to take much longer. If you don’t like fire, there are many different ways that you can open a bottle of wine. Just be sure that you haven’t had too much of the previous wine before opening the new one.

How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Key

To open a wine bottle using a key, you need to follow two simple steps. Step number one involves shoving the key in at a slight angle. Step number two is using additional leverage from the key to spin the cork. You want the key in at a slight angle because it will be easier to spin the cork that way. Having it straight down means that you will have to remove it by turning the key as if the wine were a door. The slight angle provides you with just enough force to make this easy.

When you get to the spinning step, please think of the key as a corkscrew in itself. By considering the extra leverage as half of a corkscrew handle, it will be easier to visualize this working for you. If you don’t like the idea of breaking one of your keys in an attempt to open your wine, you could try something more reasonable like a shoe.

How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Shoe

Opening wine with a shoe is one of the most bizarre methods you can choose. However, it is possible provided you have quick reaction time once the waterfall of wine begins pouring out. If you are doing this for a party trick, don’t expect the crowd to be impressed. Your first step will be to insert the wine into your shoe. You can do this with the base inside the shoe’s bottom, with several inches wrapping around each side of the bottle’s base to prevent slippage. You cannot do this with a flipflop, as the wine will shatter in the next step.

The next step involves you bashing the shoe’s heel against the wall. The shoe acts as protection for the wine to prevent shattering. During this step, there is a chance that the cork will pop out from the pressure. The last step involves keeping your eyes open and checking the cork every few smacks to be sure it isn’t halfway out. Once it is, you can remove the cork with a set of pliers. If you keep your awareness, you will catch it before the cork flies off.

As you might tell, this isn’t the most intelligent method you can use to open a wine container. In the future, you may want to consider investing in a corkscrew. To encourage you to do this, our next set of steps involves showing you how to open a bottle of wine with a corkscrew.

How To Open A Wine Bottle With A Corkscrew

The wisest option you have comes from using a corkscrew. This process involves an easy set of steps that involve twisting the corkscrew at the cork’s top until it is deep inside and pulling the cork out using the lever. This process involves a small bit of force, but rarely enough to break open a bottle. Many people have no plans to buy a corkscrew. If any of the above sections didn’t work out for you, we have a couple of other options you can use to open that bottle of wine.

How Do You Open A Wine Bottle If You Have A Corkscrew Without A Lever?

Regardless of whether you have a lever, you can still pull on your corkscrew with relative ease. It may require a bit of additional force, so don’t be afraid to use those triceps. The only piece of advice that comes with corkscrews is that you don’t want to get that corkscrew in at an angle. It can cause potential damage to the bottle, so be sure that it is straight down.

How To Open A Bottle Of Wine Without A Corkscrew

If you need your wine now, here are a variety of ways you can get it open.

  • Use a screw and hammer
  • Push it in
  • Use a serrated knife
  • Pump air into it
  • Use a towel
  • Use a wire hanger

How To Open A Bottle Of Wine Using A Screw And A Hammer

Put the tip of the screw facing the cork on top and screw it in using a screwdriver. Leave enough room for the hammer to get a firm grip on the screw. Place the hammer as if you were going to rip nails from a wall. Pull until the cork is out of the bottle. Be sure that the crew isn’t too thick, as you risk breaking the cork into the bottle.

Push It In

If opening the door doesn’t work, you can try pushing on the door. You can do this with any thick, blunt object. Your best bet is usually a wooden spoon. If you do this, be sure to strain the wine before drinking it, cork bits aren’t a good part of a balanced diet.

Use A Serrated Knife

This technique follows the same steps as removing the cork with keys. Shove it in at a slight angle and begin spinning the knife. The difference being you should remove the cork with pliers once you get about an inch of space. Also, be careful with the condition of your knife as you do this. This technique has a high chance of bending your blade.

Pump Air Into It

If you have access to a small needle and an air pump, that is a quick and less messy way than anything else on this list. Shove the needle through the air pump until it pops out of the other side. It can be tricky to get the tube there, and many people don’t own a needle and a small tube. As a result, this one isn’t quite as popular as the other options on our list.

Use A Towel

In case you don’t want to look quite as silly, you have the option of replacing that shoe mentioned in earlier steps with a towel. In this case, you do run a higher risk of smashing the glass. You can also combine a towel and shoe into a single technique. By slapping your towel-wrapped bottle with a shoe, you can avoid the potential of a shattered wine bottle.

Use A Wire Hanger

While this can be somewhat tricky, you can bend your wire hanger into various interesting shapes. One of these shapes includes a corkscrew, which involves shoving the wire hanger through the cork. Be careful, as you do run the risk of shredding your cork.

Eli Smith
Eli Smith

I'm a guy who becomes the expert of whatever I stumble upon, writing-wise. I've written tons about cool home products, home improvement, and smart technology in the home. I'm also the proud father of a kiddo born on new years, making my holidays very busy.

More by Eli Smith