The internet has found another crazy way to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew: use a bike pump. Sure, a bike pump may be a little bit more harder to find than a key or a shoe, but since this method seems way more fun, I decided to give it a try.
So I grabbed a nice bottle of Pinot Noir and a bike pump and started out on what was supposed to be a fairly simple three step process.
I began by sticking the needle between the rim of the bottle and the cork, but the first time I tried, I actually broke the pump needle in half (oops). Luckily, I had another needle lying around, and this time, the cork was a little more forgiving.
Once I actually got the needle into the cork, I set about pumping like I was filling a tire. You are supposed to pump three or four times to push the corkscrew out of the bottle. At the very least, it should push the corkscrew far enough so that you can manually remove it with your hands or your teeth (if you dare). If you pump too much, the bottle could explode.
Well, I pumped the recommended three times. And then three more. And three more after that. Not only was there no explosion, but there was also no movement at all. The cork stayed stubbornly stuck within the bottle. I tried reinserting the needle somewhere else but still had no luck.
Frustrated but convinced I had just gotten a bad bottle, I decided to start over. This time I grabbed a bottle of Reisling with the hope that the white wine would be a little bit more forgiving. I inserted the needle and began to pump.
After ten or so futile pumps, I felt a spark of hope when I noticed a flicker of movement but soon realized that it was just a wasp. I took the wasp as an omen that I should give up for good and go back inside. While this method may work for some, I think it’s probably best to stick with a key if you can’t find a corkscrew.