How to open Champagne

Do you know how to open Champagne? The pressure is on, literally.

Champagne is held in a bottle with several times atmospheric pressure. Never point a bottle of Champagne at someone, even if it is a constitutional right. It is important to know this because it is quite possible that the Champagne cork becomes a projectile, killing or maiming a person or animal. Alright, maybe not killing, but maiming is a definite possibility. With some simple precautions we can prevent such a tragedy.

I am not going to explain to you how to open a Champagne bottle in a 5 star restaurant. There are other sources for that. Rather, I will explain a few key points that will help you get that bottle open safely.

1. One thing that will help the entire process is ensuring that the bottle is sufficiently cold and hasn’t been shaken up. If it’s not cold enough the pressure is much more likely to cause the cork to pop off with gusto and gush some wine to the floor or onto someone.

2. The next thing to keep in mind is to always keep your thumb over the cage as you start to twist open the wire. A sommelier will usually have a serviette (serving cloth) also draped over the top and under their thumb as an added measure of protection.

3. Once the cage has been loosened be sure to have your other hand firmly on the bottle. If you are right handed your left hand will be firmly gripping the bottom of the Champagne bottle (assuming you are not opening it in an ice bucket).

4. Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle, and slowly rotate the bottle back and forth with your left hand rather than trying to move the cork with your right hand. The key here is –slowly. You want the cork to hiss, NOT POP. If you are opening a nice bottle you do not want to lose a glass worth of Champagne due to over exuberance.

5. Once you open the bottle, pour as slowly as possible to avoid bubbling over the glass.

Enjoy!

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