If you have ever been on vacation and forgotten to bring a wine bottle opener? What is worst is that you only ever realize you don’t have an opener when you want to open a bottle of wine! But fear not, you can actually open a bottle of wine with many common household items, including spoons. But do you know how to open a wine bottle with a spoon?
It’s actually quite easy! You can definitely open a bottle of wine with a spoon if you know the correct technique. Simply stick the end of the spoon handle into the cork at a 45-degree angle. Then you can twist the cork and slowly pull it out of the bottle.
Are you still confused about how it works? Don’t worry, we’ll go over the detailed steps in this article! We’ll also explain exactly how it works as well as several other methods you can use to open up a wine bottle in a pinch.
Let’s jump into it.
Instructions for How to Open a Wine Bottle with a Spoon
As we mentioned above, you can definitely open a bottle of wine with only a spoon. But there are several tips and tricks that will help ensure you don’t break the cork or only remove a piece of it.
Let’s go over exactly how to open a wine bottle with a spoon.
- Start by finding the appropriately sized spoon for the job. You’ll want to pay attention to the handle of the spoon. It should be one half inch wide or less and only a few millimeters thick. This will ensure you can stick it into the cork far enough and that it will grip the cork effectively when pulling it out.
- Remove the foil off your bottle of wine using a knife or simply by peeling it off.
- Begin pushing the spoon handle into the wine cork. The key is to push the spoon in at an angle. Insert it in at approximately a 45-degree angle. This will ensure the spoon handle grips the cork effectively and will allow you to pull it out without breaking the cork. If you push the spoon in completely vertical, you have a much higher chance of breaking the cork or ripping the spoon handle out before removing it.
- Push the hand of the spoon in about half an inch or until you can push it in any more. It should be close to hitting the other side of the wine bottle’s neck.
- Once the spoon is securely in the cork, begin twisting the bottle in a circular motion to get the cork loose.
- After the cork is loose and you’ve got momentum spinning the bottle, begin slowly pulling the cork up and out of the bottle.
- You should make a little progress each time you twist the bottle. Don’t rush this process! If you pull too hard the spoon handle will simply pull out of the cork and you’ll have to start over again. It’s also much harder to do if you’ve already pierced the cork once with the spoon handle. So have patience!
- After several twists and pulls, the cork should be halfway out. At this point, you can either keep pulling with the spoon to get the cork completely out, or you can usually just grab the cork with your fingers and twist it out the rest of the way.
- After the cork is out you can pull it off the spoon.
Are Synthetic Corks Harder to Open?
We always get asked if this technique works with synthetic corks. And the answer is, yes! Sometimes it actually is easier to open a bottle of wine with a spoon when it has a synthetic cork. It actually often easier to open a bottle with a synthetic cork for all techniques.
Author Note: This is because the synthetic material is hard to pierce with the handle of the spoon, but once the spoon is inserted it’s much harder to pull out. This makes the most difficult part of pulling the cork out quite of bit easier. Synthetic corks are much harder to break as well, so you don’t have to worry about pulling out only part of a cork.
So if the bottle of wine you are trying to open has a synthetic cork, don’t worry! You’re actually going to have an easier time getting it open.
What Do You Do When a Cork Won’t Come Out?
So you’ve tried pulling the cork out with the back of a spoon and maybe even a few other techniques (like with a screwdriver or knife). What do you do when a cork won’t come out? Don’t worry! We’ve compiled a few last-minute techniques you can try to help loosen a stuck cork.
- Try running the neck of the bottle under hot water. This will expand the glass in the neck of the bottle ever so slightly which will help loosen the cork. Try running the neck of the bottle under hot water for 30 seconds, then go back to whatever opening method you were trying earlier.
- Do the same thing, but slower. Another change that usually does the trick is to do the same opening technique you’ve been doing, just at a slower speed. Oftentimes people are so eager to open a bottle of wine that they rush through the process. This does not work well with a stubborn cork! You want to slow down and do the technique properly. Slow and steady wins the race!
- If you have got the cork partially out, try gripping on to it with a towel or rubberized oven mitt. Usually, the issue at this stage is not getting enough grip on the small piece of cork to pull it out. If you can find a rubberized oven mitt or towel, you’ll get a lot more gripping power from a small amount of surface area.
- Tapping the neck of the bottle against the counter can also help dislodge it. Similarly to when a jar lid is stuck, you can tap the neck of a wine bottle against the counter to help loosen the cork. Just be careful with how hard you tap it! You don’t want to break the neck of the wine bottle. If it still isn’t coming loose, try one of our other techniques.
General Tips for Opening a Bottle of Wine
Top Tip: Now you know how to open a wine bottle with a spoon. But you’ll usually have a bottle opener, so we thought it made sense to share a few more tips for opening a bottle of wine traditionally.
Here are a few additional tips you should consider when opening wine bottles in general. Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll rarely encounter wine bottle struggles again!
Tips and Tricks
- The most efficient and effective way to open a bottle of wine is with a “waiter style” double-hinged bottle opener. There’s a reason why restaurants and waiters all use this style of wine opener! It’s because they work with almost every type of wine bottle, and allow you to open the bottle very quickly without risking any damage to the cork. They’re also very easy to learn how to use and are probably the fastest simple way to open a wine bottle. Stay away from the fancy party-trick openers and stick with the basics.
- Know the temperature of your wines! If your wine was recently in the wine cooler or a cellar, let it warm up to room temperature before serving it to your guests. If you’re serving white wine or prosecco that’s meant to be chilled, serve it chilled. But too many people pull their favorite red wine out of the wine cooler and serve it immediately. The flavor profile of a cold red wine is going to be very different than at room temperature. Like letting meat warm up before cooking, take your bottles of red (or other wine that isn’t meant to be served chilled) out of the cooler ahead of time to let them warm up.
- Don’t judge a wine by the type of cork it comes with, or lack of cork at all! This is a mistake that many novice wine drinkers make: judging a wine by the type of cork it used or if the wine uses a screw top. Synthetic corks are more effective at sealing a bottle of wine than normal corks and produce fewer defects. Along with the same logic, screw tops are actually even better for keeping wine sealed without fail. Some very expensive and prestigious wine producers are beginning to switch their bottles to screw tops because they’re technically better for wine in almost all regards.
Knowing how to open a bottle of wine with a spoon is a very useful skill to have. Now that you know the technique you’ll almost always be able to open a bottle as long as you have access to a spoon. Who knows, you might even be able to save a dinner party someday with your resourcefulness!
Author Note: You now also know that the best way to open a bottle of wine is with a traditional waiter-style opener. Skip the fancy CO2 powered or electric openers and stick to the industry standard.
We hope you found this article informative and useful. If you have your own resourceful ways of open wine bottles without a corkscrew, let us know about them in the comments below. We would love to share more knowledge with our community of readers. Sharing is caring!
To living a full-bodied life,