No Corkscrew? Opening a Wine Bottle With a Shoe.

Have a bottle of wine but no corkscrew? No problem. It’s probably a twist off cap.  But if it isn’t … here’s how to open a wine bottle with a shoe and a tree trunk. Kind of.


There you are. Sitting in the middle of the woods all alone, with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and no corkscrew. What’s a gal to do? How do you open a wine bottle without a corkscrew?

According to the Internet you just grab yourself a shoe, head to the nearest tree and start whacking. In no time that cork will pop out and you’ll be relaxing on a bed of pine needles with your forest friends as you drink your way to being the life of the party, great dancer, deep thinker that you and you alone think you are when you’re obliterated.

The Internet is a big, fat liar. This has kind of been the mantra behind everything I do on The Art of Doing Stuff from day 1. I try to present practical information that I have first hand experience with. If things don’t work I tell you.  Like magnetic eyelashes. Which technically work, but instead of making you appear sexy and flirtatious give the impression that you have in fact gone mad. You can see me experimenting with magnetic lashes and looking like a lunatic here.

So in 2010, in the early years of this blog I was alerted to a Youtube video that showcased a rather distinguished French gentleman dressed in his fancy dress up clothes, with his fancy accent, standing  beside his fancy car.  Mr. Fancy Pants then proceeded to show how we can easily and in quite a poised manner, open a bottle of wine by sticking it in a shoe and smashing it against a tree.

This I assumed was for people who had recently stolen a bottle of wine and didn’t have time to steal a corkscrew as well.   I suppose perhaps, it could also be for the people who are on their 3rd or 4th bottle of wine and just can’t identify a corkscrew anymore.

Either way, I was fascinated with this video.  The ease!  The quickness!  The grace with which one can open a bottle of wine with a stinky old shoe and a dirty, bug filled tree astonished me.

I am usually only astonished by lies.  (Hey Karen … you look GREAT in those culottes!   Hey Karen …  I honestly think spider veins are kindda sexy)  That sort of thing.

So this got me to thinking.  I wonder if this video is a lie?  Could it really be this easy?  Could I really look this distinguished while trying to open a bottle of wine on a tree trunk?  I certainly hoped so.  Because this would be the best party trick in the world, second only to dangling a teaspoon off the end of your nose.

I gave it a shot, and here’s how it went.

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew


No Corkscrew? Opening a Wine Bottle With a Shoe.

No Corkscrew? Opening a Wine Bottle With a Shoe.

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: I mean, it's ridiculous.
Estimated Cost: $0

You have a wine bottle with a cork but no corkscrew. If you have a shoe and a tree, you might, MIGHT be able to open it.


  • Shoe
  • Wine bottle
  • Tree
  • Luck


  1. Place your bottle of wine with the base inside a hard soled, or sturdy shoe.
  2. Start whacking the heel of the shoe against a hard object like a tree trunk.
  3. Just keep doing that and checking the cork. At some point (maybe in 1 minute, maybe in 12 hours) the cork will slowly start to push out from the jarring pressure.
  4. Pull cork out once enough has popped out and enjoy your wine plus an extra glass because you've just burned 1,200 calories. You deserve it.

Conclusion:  You literally need to manhandle the bottle of wine for this to work.  It does not knock out with a few quick smacks on the tree as it did in the original Youtube video (which has long since been removed from Youtube).  I’m not sure I ever could have dislodged the cork on my own.

For one thing, there’s the underlying terror that the bottle is going to explode into razor like projectiles of glass.  Which, although entertaining for a YouTube video or a Wile E Coyote cartoon … is not nearly as amusing in real life.

If you’re alone and trying to open this bottle of wine I suggest you run the streets looking for someone to help you. Someone with enormous strength or anger issues. 

Your best options would be Godzilla or a woman who was recently criticized for her spider veins.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←


No Corkscrew? Opening a Wine Bottle With a Shoe.


  1. Scout says:

    There are little, shoeless children going to bed sober all over the world. I can’t risk trying it. But, I’m glad you did! Well done!

  2. Ken J says:

    Fascinating! You’d have enjoyed the wine sooner if you had used a shoelace. True story. 😳

  3. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Ok so right in the middle of your “Materials” and “Instructions” was a pop up ad for how to effectively empty your bowels every morning with a model of the lower intestines and some random male finger poking around in them. Crikey! I thought…. Karen has either expanded her level of instructive expertise or totally lost it. I’m betting on the latter 😏

  4. 😂😂😂 THIS is the content we need more of, haha.

  5. Doug Waldron says:

    Hello there. While I did not actually watch the video, I take it that it wasnt a fast process. I just thought I would let you in on a secret I learned quite a while ago when I was still skydiving. We have cords that we use to close our parachute containers. We call them pull up cords but they are just ribbon or tough string that goes through a loop and you pull on it. At any rate, if you are stuck without a corkscrew, just push the cork all the way into the bottle, take a shoe lace or something to that effect, tie a knot in one end, push it past the cork so the knot is below the cork. just start pulling and the cork will come right out. Enjoy.

  6. Jacqueline Bundren says:

    Love it! You made my day!

  7. Lori says:

    Betty’s laugh is the BEST!

  8. Beth W says:

    If you do try it with red (because who needs to drink white so badly they whip off their shoe to hit it against a tree)… I think you might find it easier if dressed appropriately; in a ball gown. That’s obviously what was missing here. Although now I’m wishing I had a bottle to try this with. Anything to make today different from yesterday in the quarantine life.

  9. Fonda Rush says:

    We once had the dilemma of not having a corkscrew at home. What we did was got that doo-hickey that stops the door from hitting the wall. We unscrewed it from the baseboard and screwed it into the cork. It worked!

  10. Jenny W says:

    Blast from the past! :)
    Watching this again, I wonder if you shook the bottle of wine first, if that would speed up getting the pressure built up inside?
    I’m asking for a Do-Over ;)

  11. billy sharpstick says:

    I will see your shoe, and raise you a Napoleanic sabre!

  12. Barbie says:

    Karen, I was feeling down today and I remembered how much this video reminded me of 0ur crazy family and how it made me laugh….so I watched it again….twice! Thanks for brightening my day lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *