How to Remove a Stuck Cork Out of a Wine Bottle

Opening wine bottle corks
Photo by Árpád Czapp on Unsplash

We’ve all been there—went to open a bottle of wine only for the cork to get stuck or broken. Trying to remove it is a real nightmare and it can even be dangerous. Next time it happens, make sure to try these tips as there’s nothing worse than cork pieces in an expensive bottle of wine.

Work the Angles

If the cork broke when you were opening the wine, leaving a chunk of the cork inside is frustrating. The best way to get it out is to gently use your wine key to twist, pull, and remove the other half of the cork if it hasn’t been pushed too far down the bottle’s neck. Insert the corkscrew at a 45-degree angle and use the side of the bottle for leverage.

Run the Neck Under Hot Water

This trick is pretty simple—put the neck of the wine bottle under hot water for about 30 seconds. The heat will cause the glass to expand and it might loosen it enough to get the cork out.

Push the Cork Into the Bottle

When all else fails, push the cork into the bottle. Pour the wine out of the bottle into a decanter, using a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve to strain any cork pieces.