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

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

Just because it's easy doesn't mean it's something any aspiring oenophile will instinctively know how to do, though. Learning how to open a wine bottle is a skill anyone interested in wine needs to learn. Some corkscrews—such as the winged corkscrew or automatic bottle openers—are pretty foolproof, but sometimes you're caught without one of those larger corkscrews. (Just 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 waiter's key)
  • small, sharp knife (unless your corkscrew has one built-in)

How-to:

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