When there’s something to celebrate, a special beverage is in order: champagne! But before diving headlong into bubbly drinks, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with how to open champagne. During my years working as a sommelier, I served plenty of bubbly. Now I’m passing my bottle-opening tricks to you!
Whether you’re concocting a champagne punch or making a toast, here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how to open a champagne bottle.
Know the Bubbly Rules
There are two cardinal rules when it comes to opening a bottle of champagne.
Rule 1: Stay safe
Whatever you do, make sure you never point the top of the bottle at anyone. Bottles of champagne and other sparkling wine are super pressurized, turning the cork into a ready-made projectile. If you’re not careful, you can seriously hurt someone. This pressure is the same reason that bottles of sparkling wine are made from thicker glass than their still counterparts.
Rule 2: Waste not, want not
While the movies may have us thinking that the bottle should open with a loud pop followed by a stream of champagne, in reality the exact opposite is true. After all, you don’t want to waste any of that liquid gold! Quieter is better here.
How to Open a Champagne Bottle
Here are my foolproof steps to opening a bottle of bubbly. You won’t have to worry about any cork-related injuries to friends or your ceiling. And perhaps more important, you’ll never waste a drop.
Step 1: Cut and remove the foil
Using the serrated knife of a wine key, cut the metal foil. After removing the foil, cover the top of the bottle with a kitchen towel and place one hand on top of the bottle, with the thumb firmly over the cork. Once you’re certain the bottle is pointed away from bystanders (or anything fragile), continue to the next step.
Step 2: Open the bottle
Untwist the metal cage and slowly rotate the bottle, not the cork. Use the hand on top of the bottle to help ease out the cork. By controlling how quickly the cork comes out, you can gradually allow gas to escape the bottle. The result should be a gentle hiss rather than a loud bang.
Step 3: Serve!
Put the cork and cage off to the side and get ready to pour. Again, take it easy and pour slowly to avoid causing overflow. Now you’re ready to enjoy your hard-earned glass of bubbly with a tasty spread of appetizers or gorgeous desserts.
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll open every bottle of sparkling wine like a pro. Now you can focus on more important things, like deciding on what to serve at your next dinner party!