How to Open a Bottle of Wine (Even If Twist-Tops Is All You Know)

You’ll want to master this foolproof method for uncorking wine bottles.

After the challenge of picking the right bottle of wine comes the challenge of figuring out how to open the bottle. Some of us have been so spoiled by twist-top wine bottles and ordering wine at bars or restaurants (where bottles are conveniently opened for us) that when faced with a corked bottle of wine, we're at a loss. Fortunately, learning to open a wine bottle with a corkscrew is incredibly easy.

Just because it's easy doesn't mean it's something any aspiring wine lover will instinctively know how to do, though. Opening a bottle is a skill anyone interested in wine should learn. Some corkscrews—such as the winged corkscrew or an automatic bottle opener—are pretty foolproof, but sometimes you may be caught without a larger corkscrew. (Take care not to be caught without a corkscrew at all—opening a bottle of wine without one is a true challenge.)

If you have the standard folding corkscrew, though, you're set. Even if you've never opened a bottle of wine before, with our guide, video, and steps to opening a wine bottle, you'll be pouring in a flash.

How to Open a Wine Bottle

What you'll need:

  • Wine bottle
  • Corkscrew (sometimes called a wine key or server's key)
  • Small, sharp knife (unless your corkscrew has one built-in)


  1. Place a knife under the lip of the bottle and turn to remove the foil.
  2. Position the corkscrew in the center of the cork and twist clockwise.
  3. Place the first step of the corkscrew onto the lip of the bottle.
  4. Lift handle until the cork is halfway out.
  5. Repeat using the second step of the corkscrew, pulling until the cork is almost out.
  6. Use your hand to pull the cork all the way out.
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