The Simple Trick To Get A Broken Cork Out Of A Wine Bottle

Opening a bottle of wine at home, especially when there's a house party going on, should be straightforward and even a fun affair if it's a bottle of champagne or prosecco. But sometimes, things don't go as planned. One of the most common problems you'll face is a broken cork. This is when the soft cork snaps in half as you're trying to pry it out of the bottle, leaving a stubborn piece lodged in the neck of the bottle. You can force the cork into the bottle and pour your wine through a fine mesh sieve (to catch the bits of broken cork) if you've got one handy; if you don't, trying to get the remaining cork out of the bottle can be incredibly frustrating, often leading to bits of cork floating in your wine. It's not uncommon for some people to get so frustrated they abandon the bottle altogether.


Fortunately, you only need to do a very simple trick and you can start pouring the wine right away. Instead of trying to shimmy the worm of your wine opener into the broken stub and brute-force it out, insert it at a 45-degree angle — slightly off-center and tilting a bit to the side. This technique allows you to gently work the screw into the cork without pushing the stubborn piece deeper into the bottle. With a steady hand and a bit of patience, you'll be able to carefully extract the rest of the stopper and get a smooth, cork-free pour for you and your guests!

Other tricks to pry a stubborn cork out

While the 45-degree angle trick is often the most effective way to remove a broken cork, there are many other cork-opening methods you can try if you find yourself in a pinch. One method is to grab a screwdriver and a long screw from your toolbox. Specifically, you'll want to look for a metal screw with wide threads that can really grip the soft cork. Drive the screw into the center of the broken cork using the screwdriver, going about half an inch deep. Then, once the screw is firmly in place, use the back of a hammer or a pair of pliers to gently pull the screw (along with the cork) out of the bottle.


Another approach is to use a bit of heat to help coax that cork out. The idea is that by warming up the neck of the bottle, the air inside will expand and push the cork upward. Anything that gives off directed, intense heat can be used for this trick, from a blow torch to a hair straightener (just clip it around the neck of the bottle). As the glass warms up, you should see the cork slowly inch its way out. Once enough of the cork is visible, you can use your trusty wine opener to pull it out the rest of the way. And voila, you're ready to enjoy your well-deserved glass of wine!