Picture of How To: Get a Cork Out of an Empty Wine Bottle
Getting a cork out of an empty wine bottle is not only easy, it's a fun parlor trick to share with everyone. 

Every once in awhile, in the pursuit of a glass of wine a cork breaks or perhaps you've found yourself without a corkscrew and pushed the cork into the bottle yourself--no matter what the case, you now have a cork in your wine bottle. It may seem impossible to remove it, but with one simple item--a plastic shopping bag--you can remove the cork in a matter of minutes. Keep reading to find out how.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You'll need:
  • Plastic Grocery Bag (without holes)
That's it! Simple. It can be an old produce bag, a take out bag, whatever you've got laying around. The only requirement is that it doesn't have any holes. 

Step 2: Insert the Bag

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Starting with the closed or sealed end of your plastic bag, feed it into your empty wine bottle. Continue to push the bag inside until the portion of the bag thats inside the bottle is longer than the cork.

Step 3: Orient the Cork

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Maneuver the wine bottle until the cork is sitting vertically--parallel to the neck of the wine bottle. Your cork should be nestled in the bottom of the opening. 

Step 4: Fill Your Bag

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Blow air into the bag, inflating the bottom of the bag inside the wine bottle around the cork. 

Step 5: Pull

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Grasping the bottom of the bag that is sticking out of the wine bottle, pull gently. As you pull the bag out of the bottle, the pressure will increase in the end of the bag, around the cork. Your air filled bag should grab the cork and pull it out of the bottle with the bag. 

This step can take some patience. Go slow and make sure your air filled bag is grabbing the cork. 

Step 6: You're Done!

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Congrats!  You can also perform this trick with a napkin, but it's a little harder without the air pocket to grab on to the cork. Recycle or up-cycle that wine bottle however you'd like!
Eric Rocher5 months ago

I made this bottle to keep absinthe in. The cork had a wooden topper that cracked off and I accidentally pushed the remaining cork in all the way. I thought that this bottle that I had worked a very long time on and love was finished. On the third try, I was able to get the old cork out. Thank you so much.

SmartAZ10 months ago

Yawn. And I am unanimous in that!

ve6cmm10 months ago

I have been doing this sort of thing for many years. It is easier to use a cloth napkin than a plastic bag. Just feed a corner of the napkin into the bottle, shake the cork into the corner of the napkin and pull the cork out. I have done this at a dinner table many times without having to get up! It amazes everyone.

moraisecastro11 months ago

What's the point of this??

This is pretty, neat, but I agree with 'moraisecastro' here, what is the point?

The point is being able to do it. I had the need once, wish I knew about this :/

dmreddy11 months ago

Awesome... Simple and neat trick...

Comanchegyrl11 months ago

I recently read where a mechanic from Argentina performed this little trick, and afterward teamed up with a doctor to invent a similar device for extracting babies during difficult births. Ha!

my wife had the same ob/gyn.

I saw this on a show on Science, or Nat Geo. Crazy.

mattclary11 months ago

I'd like to try a little Vaseline in the neck, put the bottle in the freezer. Take the bottle out, ensuring the cork falls into the opening of the neck. Warm the bottle, that should force the cork farther into the neck. Once far enough that it will stay in place, put the bottle in boiling water.

Talk about glass bottles have a low pressure threshold, be careful.

If the pressure from shoving the cork into the full bottle didn't blow it, it's not likely to explode before the cork gives way.

But we won't know until we test it. Lemme go get a couple bottles of wine and my goggles. FOR SCIENCE!!!

Try that as a bar trick!

gdex11 months ago

impressive trick !
thanks a lot

kmathes11 months ago

I have a rubber stopper in an Erlenmeyer flask that I want to get out. I'll try this method.

Light_Lab11 months ago

I have done this trick many times with a loop of string. Even if you can't get the loop to go over the back of the cork often the friction of the string on the cork is enough.

louijp11 months ago

I used an easier trick. Instead of a plastic bag, I use kitchen twine and a #4-40 nut. I tie the twine to the nut and drop it into the bottle. Then I tilt the bottle until the cork come stuck to the neck, Then I just pull the twine that I secured to the handle of a spoon, and the cork come out fairly easily.

lobstr11 months ago


vladivastok11 months ago


Abeytj11 months ago

Napkin cannot retain air. How it will grab the cork. You have also mentioned that the plastic bag should not have holes in it

man191911 months ago

great idea!

amalkhan11 months ago

that's awesome!

Mr_o_uk11 months ago
This 'party trick' inspired someone to create a birthing aid to replace forceps!!

I read the amazing story but I was wandering how you found it!?

random91611 months ago
lol... when i was 8 or 9 my dad showed me this when we were on vacation one summer, and i went around to all the tables in the restaurant performing this trick for a buck a table...
togo191911 months ago

Hooray! Very cool!

Stan1y11 months ago
must try that
Costarus11 months ago

Interesting way. But usually enough rope with a knot at the end.

tinkerology11 months ago
This also works with a dinner napkin.

Wow, fun trick! I've never seen that before!