We’ve all seen plenty of “How to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew” videos. If I'm forced to watch the shoe method one more time, I will shoot Champagne corks into both my eyes. But here’s a strange one that’s interesting not only because it’s new to me, but also because it’s one of the least intuitive: using a blowtorch.
No, you don’t use the blowtorch to smash open the neck of the bottle – which always seems to be my first thought with any of these alternative methods. Instead, there’s much more science involved. The idea is that heating up the air in the neck of the bottle between the wine and the cork causes the air to expand enough to pop the cork right out – similar to my aforementioned Champagne corks, but hopefully with less self-inflicted eye damage.
The tip is courtesy of our old friend/hackmaster Dave Hax, and according to him, “Doing this doesn’t really affect the temperature of the wine, but you should let the bottle cool down before you start to pour it.” It’s worth considering that Dave is a hackmaster and not a wine expert, but it probably helps that he’s using a small kitchen blowtorch instead of a large industrial one, which I feel like might be able to do a bit more damage.
So though this is a super cool bottle opening method, I don’t know if I’d risk firing all that heat at one of your finest bottles. Though if you’re the kind of person who’s more likely to have a blowtorch lying around than a corkscrew, you may not have that fine a bottle sitting around the house.