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.
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.
No, in fact the proper way to open a champagne bottle is actually rather, boring.
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 wine bottle opener or a fancy gadget. Just your nimble fingers are needed for this task.
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.
2. Loosen the wire cage and cover with a towel.
Flip down the small wire key located on the cage and turn to unwind the wires. Remove the cage gently from the cork. You can discard this.
Now that the cork is exposed, it’s best to place a kitchen 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).
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 base of the bottle with one 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.
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. Plus you know how to open a bottle without spilling a single drop.