Dear Wine Ladies
Is it true that you can open wine with a shoe? I don’t believe it.
Derek, Halifax, Nova Scotia
The proverbial grapevine comes through again! Yes, a bottle of wine can be opened with a shoe, a phone book, a tree, or even your bare hands for that matter, all of which methods are based on the same action, utilizing the same theory. The simple action of pounding the bottom of a wine bottle when up side down or horizontally against a fairly hard, vertical flat surface will result in the cork nudging out due to the pressure of the wine that mounts against the cork. In the case of the shoe, a quick warning, a stiletto will not do, simply place the bottle inside the heel area of the show, pound it against the wall, or a tree, if on a picnic and strike repeatedly.
Voila, the cork slowly submits and eases out. Another option, place the bottle between your legs, upside down of course, and strike the bottom of the bottle with the shoe. Once the cork is out far enough to grasp finish the job either with your hands or a some pliers. A word of caution, this particular method of extraction may not be successful with synthetic cork closures and of course not be needed in most cases these days with the prolific use of screw caps.