A few years back, a video circulated, showing a "life hack" in which a guy opened a bottle of wine using his shoe. He did this by putting the bottle in the shoe and then banging the shoe-heel against a wall ten times. It worked for him, though based on the YouTube comments, others didn't have such success.
The folks at NPR tried this method themselves, achieving results only after an incredible about of bottle-whacking. At least no bottles were broken:
Okay, we get it, that's hard, and there seems to be a correlation between the hardness of the shoe sole and its suitability for this task. So how about a foolproof method?
Here's a demonstration using heated tongs to open a bottle of port. If you like extreme bottle-opening techniques, and you have tongs and a burner handy, and you don't mind filtering your wine through cheesecloth (in case of broken glass), this is the method for you (this is actually rad, but the labor and equipment involved is nontrivial):
If your main priority is showing off your knife-handling skills, you can try this incredibly dangerous method involving a knife. Actually, please do not try this. Even watching the video, I was just waiting for the fellow to slice open his hand. (He makes it through without incident, but yikes.)
(If you have a bottle with a synthetic cork, his similar method using a house key seems a lot safer.)
What's Your Preferred Method?
Have you sabered a champagne bottle, or learned some other method for removing corks? Share it in the comments. (Oh yeah: My personal favorite is shoving the cork, in little bits, down into the bottle using a chopstick. That does work, especially in the case of a half-pulled/ripped cork, though it's messy and leaves tons of cork in the bottle. Desperate times call for desperate measures!)