# opening a wine bottle with a shoe and a wall: does this actually work? If so, how?

The recent “open a beer bottle with a quarter and a fridge magnet” shenanigans reminded me of this stunt, in which a wine bottle is opened by smacking the bottom of the bottle - and the sole of a shoe - against a solid wall.

First of all, does this actually work? It seems to, given the preponderance of demo videos on YouTube from ostensibly reputable sources. Has anyone here ever personally done this successfully?

Second, if it does work, what’s going on? Back in college I used to do a trick where you could pop the bottom out of a beer bottle by filling it very full and then smacking the top of the bottle with your palm. Not sure how that worked, but I’d guess it has something to do with cavitation bubbles being created by the sudden acceleration of the bottom of the bottle away from the water when my palm smacked the top of the bottle. If the wine bottle trick actually works, is it the same deal? I’m thinking something like this:

1. Bottle (with wine resting against cork) is moving toward wall.
2. Bottle comes to a sudden stop, wine continues moving away from cork, creates cavitation bubble.
3. Bubble collapses violently, inducing high wine velocities that create an impulse load against the cork when the wine hits it.

If my theory is correct, then this technique won’t work with an upright bottle being smacked against the ground (because the wine isn’t against the cork at the moment of impact) - but it would work for an upside-down bottle being smacked against an overhead object (since the wine is against the cork at the moment of impact, just like the original scenario).

Has anyone ever tested those two variations (upright bottle against ground, upside-down bottle against ceiling), and had results that match my expectations?

I don’t think it has anything to do with cavitation, just air pressure. Wine compresses air in bottle as bottle & wine stop moving, expanding air forces out cork since wine will not compress.