How to Uncork Wine

Christine Albury

Learn how to uncork wine properly, either with or without a corkscrew.

While you will find that the majority of bottled wines these days are sold with screw top lids, more expensive wines still have a cork. Learning how to uncork wine properly will ensure that you do not end up with pieces of cork in your wine.
If you have a wing-style corkscrew at home, opening your wine is easy!
Spiced Mulled Wine Photo
Simply score the cork’s foil under the lip with a sharp knife and peel it away. Do this carefully and take your time, as it is easy for your hand to slip.
Next, position the tip of the corkscrew on the center of the cork and press down slightly so it pierces the top of the cork. Be sure the wings of the corkscrew are lowered and then begin to twist the handle of the corkscrew clockwise while holding the corkscrew in place at the base.
With each twist, the wings of the corkscrew will extend upwards and outwards; continue twisting until the wings are fully extended. Using two hands, push down on the wings to help pop the cork out of the bottle. 
Spiced Mulled Wine Picture

How to uncork wine with a sommelier knife or waiter's corkscrew

If you have a sommelier knife (also known as a wine key or waiter’s corkscrew), unfold the knife, score the cork’s foil under the lip and remove it.
Fold the knife back down and unfold the corkscrew; position the corkscrew on the center of the cork and press it down to pierce the top of the cork.
Twist the corkscrew clockwise until one of the spirals on the corkscrew is visible. You won’t want to twist too far, otherwise it may puncture the other end of the cork, leaving bits in your wine.
Finally, position the lever arm so that its hinge is over the lip of the bottle and use your hand to pull the corkscrew up, which should bring the cork along with it. If the cork won’t move, twist the corkscrew a little more and attempt to remove it then.
Spiced Mulled Wine Image

How to uncork wine with no corkscrew at all!

Nothing is worse than getting ready to open a bottle of wine and realizing you don't have a corkscrew.
Fortunately, there is a cool trick you can use to get that bottle opened!
Simply find a long screw and screw it into the cork with a screwdriver; don’t screw it in completely but leave about an inch or so of the screw showing at the top. Place the screw in between the rungs on the backside of a hammer and pull up, removing the cork. 

When to uncork your wine

There are ideal times at which you should uncork your wine to allow it sufficient time to breath and help the notes of the wine develop.
Open red wines about two hours prior to serving and open full bodied white wines like Chardonnay an hour before serving.
Light wines like Sauvignon Blanc are best opened about 20 minutes prior to serving.
You should always reseal your wine to prolong its life, either by using the cork or a rubber stopper.

Cooking with wine

Ever tried cooking with wine? It adds some great depth of flavor to your recipes. Here are a few ideas to try.

Mulled Wine Cake

Red Wine Goulash

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

Wine Recipes

    An Easy Summer Sangria Recipe You’ll Make All Season Long

    If you're looking for an easy summer sangria recipe look no further! This recipe is simple, sweet and refreshing for summer sipping.


    This recipe for fabada is a mouth-watering one-pot dish full of Spanish sausages and butter beans.

    Instant Pot Chicken Marsala Recipe

    Simplify dinner time with this easy Instant Pot Chicken Marsala recipe. Chocked full of mushrooms, shallots, and garlic in a rich Marsala wine sauce.

    Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

    This homemade spaghetti sauce is very easy to make and is so much better then the bottled kind! Plus it freezes very well if you want to make it ahead of time!

    Margarita Sangria Recipe

    Margarita Sangria combines all the refreshing flavor of your favorite tequila drink with your favorite fruity wine drink. This sangria uses white wine, tequila and citrus to bring you a margarita flavor that can easily serve a crowd.

    Cabernet Chocolate Pudding Recipe

    This luscious cabernet chocolate pudding is easy to make at home. Serve it at your next dinner party for a grown-up take on this classic!
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Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!