Can You Really Open A Wine Bottle With A Bike Pump?

Necessity is often touted as the mother of invention and when it comes to wanting to pop open a bottle of wine when you can't find a corkscrew, that primary force of need, coupled with want, is a strong motivator. Per Country Life, it might surprise you to learn that the first recorded tool used to open wine bottles with corks was a gun worm. This device's original use was to dislodge musket balls when they got stuck in the barrel of a gun. The soldier would take his gun worm and drill down into the lead bullet with the screw-like head of the device to pull it up and remove it. But by 1681, it was trending as a device that could be used to also remove corks from wine bottles. 

Samuel Henshall would come along in the late 1790s and early 1800s and "revolutionize" the design of this tool, adding the circular ring to what we know as a corkscrew. Today, according to the Herald Net, there are all different kinds of corkscrews — T-shaped, single lever, double winged lever, wine keys, electric wine openers, and the list goes on. But what if you don't have a corkscrew? That takes us back to that saying about invention and some genius figuring out that you can simply use the bike pump that is sitting next to the ten-speeds and BMX bikes in your garage.

Proceed with caution when uncorking your wine with a bike pump

Per The Family Handyman blog, no corkscrew, no problem. Apparently using a bike pump can serve as a stand-in if you find yourself in a pinch. How does it work? Once you have your bike pump, you want to insert the pump needle not into the cork, but rather between the cork and rim of your precious wine bottle. They explain that you will want to pump up and down three to four times, but with the caveat to be careful. They warn that the bottle could explode if you pump too much, so maybe break out the safety goggles and make sure animals and children are out of harm's way. Furthermore, they say that after a couple of pumps, you will see the cork pop up and from there you should be able to pull it out. 

If you are more of a visual learner, eHowHacks posted a video on YouTube that takes you through a step-by-step process. Of course, a corkscrew is more convenient, as one commenter wrote, "I like the idea, but It is much quicker to use a corkscrew. Useful if there is no other way to open the bottle." While another shared, "I did this out of boredom and now have sticky wine stains all over my garage walls and equipment. Thanks eHow!" Sounds like fair warning to us.