That uncorking wine trick using a wall and a shoe is explained!

The clip on YouTube from Mirabeau wine showing Stephen Cronk uncorking wine using just his shoe and a wall has been all over my Facebook feed this week.

Mirabeauwine: Opening a bottle of wine without a corkscrew

I’ve been asked several times by my pals – as I’m known to like wine –  if I’d like to conduct my own scientific experiment to see if it’s true. I’ve said No.

As a) I’m too bloody clumsy  b) I daren’t and c) what a waste of wine if it should go wrong.

So I  conducted a bit of  journalistic investigation stuff,  from the comfort of my settee, drinking wine opened in the normal way (ie quickly).

This is what I’ve found.

Apparently, there is a scientific explanation as to how the wine is opened by that Mirabeau chappie (and several other internet-type people before him) as this post from The Naked Scientists explains.

They say this is how it happens.

1) wine bottle accelerates towards the wall

2) the inertia of the wine makes it want to stay in the same place so it flows towards of the neck end of the bottle (air gap opens up between wine and bottom of bottle).
3) the wine and the bottle are at same speed

Opening wine without a corkscrew
A door handle. Posed by model.

4) the bottle hits the wall and almost instantly stops
5) but the wine continues to flow forward (like someone in a car), hits the bottom of the bottle and rebounds, hits the cork and pushes it out a bit

In the old days, my pal Julie and I never had a corkscrew for our Monday night sessions, and we always managed to open a bottle of wine with a door handle and a spoon.

I have no idea how we did it, but when you’re desperate, Human Endeavour always wins over.

That’s how our ancestors discovered chamber pots and fire and  stuff.

Just out of interest, doing this piece of investigative journalism, I also found this Wiki link which illustrates other ways of opening wines without a corkscrew.

But I suggest you always have a corkscrew. Saves having to watch a viddie when you need a drink.

I taste-test low alcohol beer. Which one wins?

low alcohol beers taste test review

AS I write I have five glasses of low alcohol beer next to me and a packet of salted crisps.  This is one of my scientific experiments which would not bear the scrutiny of a Nobel judging panel.

I can’t /won’t give up alcohol for the month; the least I can do is try and reduce my alcohol levels. I sent my beloved on a shopping trip while I did the ironing (that last bit is as rare as hen’s teeth; as rare as me drinking low alcohol beer out of choice).

low alcohol beers taste test reviewThe result? Five samples of beer – all 2.8% abv or under, chosen randomly from nearby stores: Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, the Co-op and Asda. (Some beers are sold in several stores; I quote the price we paid and equivalent by litre.)

Aldi: Brasserie Biere Blonde Lager, £1.99 a pack for eight 250ml “stubbie” bottles (2.6% abv, 99p per litre)

Asda: Labatt Blue, £2.50 for four 440ml cans; (2.8% abv, £1.42 per litre)

Lidl: Nobelaner Pilsner £2.49 for 10 250ml bottles, (2.6% abv, £1 per litre)

Tesco: Becks Premier Light, £4 for six 355ml bottles (2.3% abv, £1.88 per litre)

The Co-op: Carlsberg Citrus £2 for four 275ml bottles (2.8% abv, £1.80 per litre)


I glugged a good burst of all the beers into glasses. Aldi’s Blonde still had a thin foam 15 minutes later, which reinvigorated with a swish. Becks Light was the quickest to lose its hold on a thin white hat and the swirl test had as much impact as Agadoo on the classical music charts. Following the Blonde in staying power was the Nobelaner, then the Labatts and the Carlsberg Citrus.


Brasserie Biere Blonde: Light golden colour, sweet malt on the nose, and to taste, slightly thin but a malt character. In-the-mouth fizz faded quickly. Despite winning the froth test, we say for “blonde” you should read “bland”.

Labatt Blue: My better half thought it had a “wonderful” aroma with a slight sweetness to taste and a hint of bitterness. It reminded me of a wet tin can. With ready salted crisps… well, everything improves with crisps don’t you think?

Nobelaner Pilsner: He says: Clean malt in taste, with fresh malt and a light bitter finish. I say: I could actually drink quite a lot of this. With a good chill, the bitter finish is fairly long-lasting and refreshing, none of the ‘wet metal’ of the Labatt.

Becks: He says: The Becks delivers a decent taste, not quite like drinking a proper pint though. The first sip is very crisp and the beer has a distinct bite to it compared to the Blonde which feels like drinking water. As you drink the beer it is refreshing and you soon forget it is low alcohol. I say: I agree. The best of the bunch. Perfect with a handful of ready salted.

Carlsberg Citrus: I say: imagine weak lager shandy with a sliced lime in it. Sweet and lemonadey (even though it is lime. It’s a citrus thing.) Of all the drinks, it was the one which kept the in-the-mouth fizz the longest. He said he wouldn’t even consider tasting it.


Becks low alcohol beer taste test reviewHe says: 1) Becks 2) Labatts 3) Nobelaner 4) Blonde 5 ) Carlsberg.
I say: 1) Becks 2) Nobelaner 3) Blonde 4) Carlsberg 5) Labatts.

So Becks is the winner.

These drinks were more palatable than I expected (when chilled). But that’s what two weeks of over-indulgence does.

Published in the saturday extra magazine January 11, 2014

Liverpool Echo – South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Evening Gazette – Birmingham  Mail – Coventry Telegraph – Paisley Daily Express

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.