It's time for a toast and you know what that means: champagne! You fiddle with the wire cage and aim it away from your face and pop! The cork has gone flying and the champagne is running all down your fingers and soaking up the carpet. If you're lucky half of the bottle actually ends up in the glass. Fizzy and loaded with carbonation, a bottle of sparkling wine can sometimes be unpredictable to open.
Has this happened to you before? Opening a champagne bottle (or even sparkling wine) isn't like the movies where the bottle is popped open with a flourish and champagne showers upon everyone. And let's not forget when someone tries to open a bottle with a sword (aka sabering) on New Year's Eve after one two many.
No, in fact the proper way to open a champagne bottle and serving champagne is actually rather, boring. Learn how and you could be an at-home sommelier in no time!
How to Open a Champagne Bottle
All you need to open up a bottle of the bubbly is: a bottle of champagne. No need for a corkscrew or wine key. Just your nimble fingers are needed for this task. Uncorking champagne and sparkling wine such as Cava is actually easier to open than a wine bottle in my option.
1. Remove the foil.
Remove the foil from the top of the wine bottle. Most bottles will have a small tab or cut out making the foil come off in one piece at the top of the bottle.
2. Loosen the wire cage and cover with a towel.
Flip down the small wire key located on the cage and turn to untwist the wires. Remove the metal cage gently from the top of the cork. You can discard this.
Now that the cork is exposed, it's best to drape a kitchen towel or dish towel over the cork right away. Sometimes the built-up pressure in the bottle can cause the cork to pop at a high velocity, so the towel is to prevent injury (and prevent spillage) when opening champagne.
3. Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle.
This is the tricky part-opening the bottle! When I was born, my grandfather brought a bottle of champagne into my mother's hospital room to celebrate. Holding the bottle towards the sky, the champagne popped open and left a hole in the ceiling. Years later when my mother was in the hospital for the birth of my little sister, she looked into the room and saw the hole was still there!
There's a way to prevent champagne cork damage by opening the bottle correctly.
Holding the bottom of the bottle with your dominant hand, place your other hand on the cork and point the head of the bottle in a safe direction away from people. Hold the cork firmly and twist the bottle. You should feel a soft pop without sending the cork flying.
Pretty lackluster don't you think? While it's not as fun as hearing a loud pop or turning the cork into a dangerous projectile, opening a champagne bottle correctly shows your friends that you are fancy and proper at special occasions. Plus you know how to open a bottle without spilling a single drop.
4. Pour the champagne.
To prevent the wine from spilling over, pour the champagne halfway into the wine glass or champagne flute and wait for the bubbles to subside. Then fill to the top. Store the opened bottle in an ice bucket to keep chilled while you enjoy brunch or just a glass of bubbly.