I'm McGuyvering a bottle open

Right, so I’m in a hotel room. I’ve got a wine bottle I want to open. I do not want to go anywhere, nor do I want to call the front desk seeing as how it’s outside room service hours. I do not have a corkscrew.

I have, in my possession:

Chopsticks, wooden, disposable
A stell bottle opener of the “completely flat” type
A torch lighter (the hotel room is no smoking and fire alarmed though)
A sewing kit
A plastic fork
Various electronic equipment
A hairdryer
An electric kettle
A bathrobe
Some thick wire coat hangers
A couple disposable razors, hair combs and toothbrushes
and whatever other crap there’s in a hotel room.

I’ll check back in ten minutes to see if anybody has any brilliant suggestions, or if I open it before then.

I prefer not to push the cork in since that’s
a) Not the boy scout way
b) I don’t want to add any more corkiness to my cheap wine from… [checks] Chile! sigh


Have you a diamond ring?

Good luck!

MacGyver would have his trusty swiss army knife with him, so this wouldn’t be a problem!

I think I would put a slight bend in one of the coat hangers, push it through the cork, and then try to extract the cork by pulling tangentially.

The coat hangers turned out to be too pliable, the cork shifted down and lost some men, but now it has a pin stuck in it that is too deep down the bottle to remove. The cork won’t go down further because of pressure issues. scratches head

All solutions I can come up with involve using fire.

My Google-fu fails me today, but I’ve heard that it’s not unknown to actually break the top off of a wine bottle to open it.

How you do this without introducing new and undesired liquids in to the equation, or prevent glass bits in your vino, I have no idea.

If you can just remove all the air in the room, the normal pressure inside the bottle should force the cork out.

If that sounds too easy, my best suggestion would be to break the long horizontal wire of a coat hanger in half (jut bend it back and forth). Then rotate the two broken pieces in opposite directions to unwind the part at the top where the two ends are twisted together; the part that doesn’t have the hook on it should be pretty much a ready-made corkscrew. I’m sure you can figure the rest out.

Am I the only person whose luggage always contains a corkscrew?

  1. Remove any plastic or foil wrapping from the bottle top.
  2. Hold the chopsticks together and place the “fat” ends against the cork, holding them vertical.
  3. Using the Bible/Book of Mormon/Teachings of Budda as a hammer, bang those chopsticks till the cork is floating around inside.

I know you said you didn’t want this solution (cork inside bottle), but you do want to drink the wine, right? Good luck.

Using The Book of Mormon to open a bottle of wine? That’s all kinda wrong somehow.

Alternatively, find something in the room that is held together with large screws and use one of the components of your arsenal to remove one of them temporarily - screw this into the cork and then twist a bit of wire around the head to aid your grip (unless the bottle opener, or something else, can be made to grip the screw).

Are these the metal coat hangers where the hook part is twisted around the main body?

Un-twist the hook portion, then rapidly bend the hanger just below the twisted part back and forth until it breaks off. Voila! You now have a do-it-yourself corkscrew. Use as normal.

Brilliant idea! I’m surprised nobody else suggested it

Break the nail clippers in half, or just twist them so you can use the clipping edge on something thicker than a fingernail.

Whittle away on the cork on opposite sides. (Hard to describe, but think of it as the opposite of the head of a screw. Instead of a slot, you want a ridge as tall as possible.)

Unbend the coathanger. Use one end to make a hook. Press the hook through the ridge in the top of the cork.

Wrap the coathanger around the chopsticks for a better grip, and pull.
I just had to use the chopsticks in there somewhere.

Discover a fourth spatial dimension and just reach around to push the cork out from the inside.

You’re missing an item. After all, there’s 14 kinds of gadgets in a freestyle port decorker.

Get the electric kettle, boil water and put the bottle in boiling water until the cork pops out. Leave the bottle under the tap with running cold water until the wine cools down. Meanwhile, play with the hairdryer, chopsticks, various electronic equipment and plastic fork until you get that frizzzy hairstyle only worthy of a true MacGiver.

Just call the front desk…even if it is outside room service hours, they will have one.

Or just push the cork in. It works.


No. I have one in my car, two in my purse, my travel bag, my desk, and half a dozen other places.
Just push the cork into the bottle with the end of a toothbrush. One thing I can pretty much guarantee you is the cork floating in the wine is not going to add any ‘corkiness’ to it.

You don’t have the NSA to tangle with.