How to Put a Cork Back in a Wine Bottle

Some of the best nights are casual nights in with your family. In a world where cell phones are getting in the way of quality family time, it’s only nice to have family members gather around. A wine night that’s free of phones sounds like the best way to make meaningful conversations.

Since the goal during wine nights at home is solely chill vibes, you can expect some wine bottles to go unfinished. In anticipation of these situations, it’s essential to learn how to salvage remaining wine for future use.

Reliable Methods for Putting a Cork Back in a Wine Bottle

The wine opens up a tannin when it comes in contact with air, bringing out its flavor. However, it disintegrates and loses its flavor when exposed to air for too long. This is due to a bacteria in the air called acetobacter. To prevent this from happening, we will help you figure out how to keep your unfinished wine fresh for up to five days.

Method 1: Pushing a Cork Back In

As long as the cork was removed using a traditional corkscrew, you can still force it back into the bottle. Make sure to examine which end of the cork was inside the bottle as that’s the end that you should push in. There is no need to push the cork all the way back in as the other end may be contaminated with dust. You only have to push enough until the bottle is sealed, keeping air from getting in. Below is a step-by-step guide for pushing a cork back in:

  1. Place the unfinished bottle of wine on a flat surface and hold it firmly with your hands.
  2. Tilt the cork a little so that one side goes in before the other. Hold the cork and make sure that it is resting on the bottle’s lip (opening).
  3. In one motion, twist the cork and press it down so that the first part of the cork goes into the bottle for half an inch.
  4. Keep holding the bottle firmly and press the cork down using the heel of your hand. This will force the cork back inside the bottle.

If the cork is damaged and beyond repair, we suggest you look for a replacement cork. Don’t worry because corks are readily available in bundles of different sizes.

Method 2: Pushing a Stuck Cork Back In

If the cork is stuck in the neck of the bottle, use some tools in pushing it all the way back in. A pen, chopstick, pencil, backside of a metal spoon or fork, and other sufficient utensils can help push the cork inside. Once successful, remove the pieces of cork by running the wine through a sieve. After that, reseal the bottle using a replacement cork.

North Mountain Supply - 12 Bar Top Tasting Corks
  • North Mountain Supply Bar Top Tasting Corks
  • Natural Cork with Plastic Tops - Bag of 12
  • Height : 27 mm - Width Base : 19. 5 mm

Alternative Methods: Waxed Paper and Paper Towel

For some reason, you can’t find a replacement cork. What can you do in this situation? Well, you can get creative and make a cork from just about any of the following:

Waxed Paper

Even if the cork is in good condition, there’s still a possibility that you can’t get it to slide back into the bottle using your hand. This is because of too much friction between the glass bottle and the surface of the cork. An ideal way to reduce friction is to wrap the cork in a small piece of waxed paper. The waxed paper should be about the same length as the cork. Make sure to gently push the wrapped cork back in using a slight rocking motion. Also, refrain from twisting the cork if you don’t want to wrinkle the waxed paper.

Paper Towel

You can make your DIY cork out of a paper towel. However, this can only keep for a day or so. Until you find replacement cork, a paper towel can save your wine.

Prepare a piece of paper towel that’s folded in about 2 inches wide. Roll the folded paper towel tightly on itself until you form the shape of a cork. The size should be just a little bigger than the opening of the bottle. To secure it, tape the paper towel’s end and wrap the entire thing with a plastic wrap. Then, push and twist the DIY cork until the bottle is sealed.

As mentioned, this is only temporary, so do not forget to replace it after two days.

While the methods of resealing wine can help preserve the wine for a little while, we still recommend that you store the wine in a refrigerator or a designated wine chiller. For the next wine session, remove the refrigerated wine thirty minutes before serving to reach the ideal serving temperature (55-60°F).

How do you put a cork back in a wine bottle? We’d love to learn your method!