Cork and Wine Bottle Trick


You probably received the e-mail showing a guy who taught everyone how to remove a wine cork that had been pushed completely into the bottle. The video included no verbal explanation, but viewers learned that the secret to the trick was the use of a thin plastic bag and an ingenious way to grab onto the cork. We received dozens and dozens of e-mails from people who had tried the demo but failed. Some people even thought that it was a hoax.

Well, I just had to try it… but the first bottle of wine just didn’t work (the bag kept tearing). The second bottle of wine didn’t work… neither did the third. So I switched to a nice Reisling… but no luck. Merlot? Shiraz? Now I can’t think straight. Maybe I should be focusing on the cork! Finally, I found a few bottle & cork combinations that worked. Both of the bottles featured in the video have a plastic or wax coating, but I’m confident that I’ll get a real cork cork (make sense?) to work.

During the segment on television I also mentioned that the classic solution for this puzzle used a cloth table napkin. I also said that I had never seen anyone perform this successfully using a cloth napkin – that’s why I was excited about the plastic bag method. Maybe you know how to do it using a cloth napkin and you’ll teach us all a new trick. Anyone had any success?

6 replies
  1. Pete Kevylerey
    Pete Kevylerey says:

    hi, do you know a few reactions similar to the vinegar-baking soda reaction,or, mentos-diet coke reaction? i want some safe, impressive reactions that i can make with stuff i have at home, or, i can buy at like a walmart or something. i dont need many, just 1 or 2 if you could.Thank You.

  2. Jimmy B
    Jimmy B says:

    I have used several techniques during my previous life as a waiter. The cloth napkin one is easy: tie a knot in one corner of the napkin. Push the knot into the bottle and past the end of the cork. Pull the napkin out making sure the thin part of the napkin above the know gets trapped between the cork and the bottle. Pull out the napkin slowly and the cork will come out with it.

    Another technique is to tie a knot in a plastic drinking straw. Push the knot past the cork and pull the cork out slowly using the drinking straw.

    One final technique is a bit harder but works well. Push two drinking straws into the bottle making sure each straw ends up on opposite sides of the cork. Pull both straws with even pressure making sure the cork stays pressed between the two straws and sides of the bottle.

    Don’t give up. All three of these will work and with practice they can be easily repeated.

  3. rm
    rm says:


    It does work with a cloth napkin and there’s a more elegant way to do it than to tie a knot in it.

    Roll a napkin with a corner as a point and in the shape of a slight funnel with the diameter slightly bigger than the diameter of the wine bottle neck. Put the napkin in the bottle so that the funnel opens up at the end of the neck and is a few inches in. Now shake the bottle so that the cork goes into the funnel and with one end down. When you start to pull on the napkin, it will wrap around the cork and “grab” the end of it. If you have the napkin in the bottle far enough so that the cork is completely inside it, it will slide out very easily (i.e. friction is greatly reduced).

    Practice a few times and you’ll figure out the best way to roll it so that the least amount of the napkin is in the bottle while stil completely surrounding the cork – this will make it even easier to pull out. This same method should work with a plastic bag but I haven’t tried it with one.

  4. John Johnson
    John Johnson says:

    I just tried the plastic bag method, and although it took some adjusting of air once the cork was trapped, it worked beautifully. Make sure it’s a strong plastic bag though.

  5. Wine online
    Wine online says:

    As someone who drinks a lot of wine, i can attest to being one of the people who have pushed a cork into the bottle. I don’t worry so much about getting the wine out, but the cork must come out in order to recycle to bottle properly.

    I never found a solution other than breaking the bottle (which is messy). Thank you!

  6. elizabeth
    elizabeth says:

    my teacher did it. it 1 st i thought it was not going to work but it did.i thought he was tricking us but he wasn’t.
    this is my hypothesis :is the oxygen was blocked so it pushed on it and pushed it on to the handkerchief so the oxygen
    pushed on the handkerchief so it wrapped on the cork and it slipped out.


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