opening a wine bottle with only a towel and a wall

My friend used to do a trick in which he opened a corked bottle of wine by wrapping a large towel around a bottle of wine and rolling it along a wall. Does anyone know this trick? If so, could you give me more specific instructions than these?

hide a corkscrew inside the towel.

impress all your gullible friends.



However, put a towel around the bottom of the bottle. Make sure you don’t have any foil on the top. Go get a tree outside. Hit the bottom of the bottle on the tree & eventually it’ll open. I have done this.

After you’ve shaken and shocked it so much, what prevents the champagne from spurting out all over the place? (I’m assuming that Handy’s version requires a “sparkling” wine?)

hm. Come to think of it… Hey Kelly. Did your friend only do this trick with champagne?

Exactly what kind of wine bottle are you talking about?

Carbonated or not?

another way to open a wine bottle with only a towel and a wall.

  1. grasp inverted bottle firmly by the neck.

  2. smash bottle hard against wall (meanwhile saying something like “I christen this wall Rando!”

  3. mop up spilled wine with towel

I think to O.P. is refering to wine, not champagne.

Champagne is easy to open because of the larger cork around the rim of the bottle.

Wine usually doesn’t have this added cork. It’s flush with the bottle top. That’s why you usually need a corkscrew to get wine open and not champagne.

The carbination issue is more pronounced with champagne than with wine. Which leads me to believe he was up to something fishy. Carbonation alone usually won’t open the wine bottle no matter how hard you shake it. Champagne will. I might add it’s not fun when it’s done. Champagne on the floor and practically none left in the bottle.

In my bartending days, I once saw a guy get a cork out of the bottle with a napkin. But that was after the cork had been thoroughly pushed in.

I’m out of the biz now, but if you can be more specific on what he actually was doing, I can run it by some people I know still tend bar and who should know the trick.

Personally, I still think there was some post-preperation done on the bottle before his ‘trick’.

I haven’t heard of this one but I have heard of two tricks:
(1) If you don’t have a corkscrew you can cut an X in the top of the cork with a knife and slowly and carefully twist the cork upwards and out.
(2) One guy was trying to explain to me that, using hydraulic principles, if you somehow slosh the wine steadily into the neck of the bottle the force is magnified by the wine going from the bigger diameter bottle into the smaller diameter neck, the cork will eventually work its way out. It’s the same principle that operates heavy equipment like front-end loaders and bulldozers. The guy demonstrated it by rythmically sloshing the bottle of wine backwards over his shoulder. He laughed and said you have to stop when the cork comes out or you’ll slosh out the wine. I didn’t actually see it done.

The second trick here may be the clue. I don’t know if rolling the bottle along the wall in a towel will also cause hydraulic forces to push out the cork.

I’ll vouch for Handy’s method. I’ve done it also.

Should be easy to demonstrate. Just fill a bottle with water and replace the cork… then do the experiment

In any case you’ll have sediment roiled throughout the wine. It’ll take hours (or even days) to decant the stuff.
This sounds like a trick you perform for people you don’t want to serve the wine to.

Has anyone ever opened a bottle of champagne with a large knife? It’s easy and sorta cool.

  1. Get a BIG knife or sword or machete or heck, a large flat piece of metal. You need weight. I’ve used the back of a bowie knife and the lower tang of a stage sword.
  2. Un-wrap the foil at the top, leave the wire cage on. Find the (brain fart) seam on the bottle (the line in the glass running from the top to the bottom- I know there is another word for this, but cannot remember it).
  3. Hold the bottle firmly with one hand underneath and the seam on top.
  4. Place the back of the knife on the seam at a 45 degree angle to the bottle.
  5. Push into the bottle and up quickly, with force and NO hesitation- If you wimp, you can just chip the glass at worst, or at best look like a fool because it isn’t working.

What happens is that you knock the first few inches of glass clean off the bottle and the cork and glass shoot for about 10 feet. Its a clean break with no little pieces going anywhere, and it fountains a little bit just like always. Go buy a few $4 bottles of cheap champagne and test it. Watch out for the sharp edge and top. This has gone over well at weddings and masquerade parties (hence the stage sword). Plus, if you are into saving memento’s, a top cork with the cage and glass looks better in a display than just a cork.

take care-

You can use a wall instead of a tree. Use a regular bottle of wine. Its really a simple science, force & mass thing. The cork comes out pretty slowly.

I too, have used the wine-bottle against a wall trick. Basically you remove the foil, then hit the base of the bottle against a large immobile object. The pressure from the wine (and air, I suppose) slowly forces the cork out. Notes:
-When opening wine bottle against communist-built marble wall, use towel to cushion impact, lest you shatter bottle into a million bits (oops.)
-Make sure that each strike finds the base of the bottle parallel to wall. If hit on edge it is more likely to shatter. (oops.)
-When opening bottle against Greek palm tree instead of Bulgarian marble wall, it takes much, much longer.

I have seen (and done) the trick that CnoteChris referred to- removing a cork from inside an empty bottle of wine using just a cloth napkin or towel. Are you sure this wasn’t the trick your friend was performing?

Nothing to add, except Cnote Chris’s comment:

boggled my mind, temporally.

I think what most people are thinking of is champagne as opposed to wine.

Most wine has no carbonation. Chapagne has tons of carbonation and can be popped by shaking the Hell out of the bottle.

Simply rolling a bottle of wine along the wall isn’t going to do anything, towel or not. He had to have done something to the bottle earlier if he was able to do it as the O.P. described.

Was the cork already in the bottle? When he pulled it out was it an intact cork? Did it pop out, or did he help it? Was it the napkin trick I talked about earlier?
Hitting it against a tree? I originally thought that was a joke. Your saying that you smacked a bottle of wine against a tree and the cork popped out? If it’s true, and I’m not doubting you, tell me how you did it.

In response to an earlier poster, yeah, years ago I opened a bottle of champagne with a sword. It was a closed party for some wedding and one of the guest had a Japanese sword (Don’t ask me why) in his car. They wanted a dramatic opening to the bride and groom showing up and wanted something straight out of T.V…

I started at the base of the bottle and swipped it from the base to the top as fast as I could. Popped right off. It got a big ‘ooohhhhh, aaahhhhhhh’ from the crowd but that was it.

At the time I never saw the point of it, a ton of champagne on the floor and not much left in the bottle. Go figure.

Oops. Missed attributions in my post. Oh, well, you know what was directed where.

My fault.

Does anyone here actually try an experiment or two when someone tells them something like this?
I grabbed an old but pretty wine bottle I’d saved, and filled it with water. Tried rhythmic sloshing with various levels of water for a while. Many thirst inducing glug-glug sounds (wish I had a full bottle of wine), but the loosely inserted cork did not budge.

If it works, it takes longer then the quarter of an hour I was willing to devote to sloshing.

Better you than me, Kyberneticist dude. All I can do is, based on your experimental work, promise to never again suggest this to anyone as apossible way to open a wine bottle. I did say I hadn’t seen it done. If it’s any comfort to you, you are a true Straight Doper, dedicated to the Cecilian Method of practical experimentation.