How to Flawlessly Open a Champagne Bottle Every Time

Curious about how to open a champagne bottle without sending the cork flying into the ceiling?

When there’s something to celebrate, a special beverage is in order: champagne! But before diving headlong into champagne cocktails, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with how to open champagne. Whether you’re setting up a champagne bar or making a toast, here are a sommelier’s tips on 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 foolproof steps to opening a bottle of bubbly without worrying about any cork-related injuries to friends or your ceiling. Most importantly, whether you’re serving a vintage bottle, a nonalcoholic champagne or the best cheap champagne, you’ll never waste a drop.

Step 1: Remove the foil

Remove FoilTMB Studio

If there’s a pull-tab on the foil cover, pull on it to cut through the wrapper and remove.

Alternatively, use the serrated knife of a wine key to cut the metal foil right below the lip of the bottle. Set the foil aside.

Step 2: Undo the wire cage

Twist Wire Cage TabTMB Studio

While keeping pressure on the cork with your thumb, gently twist the ‘o’ ring of the wire cage until it comes loose. You can leave the wire cage over the cork while you open the bottle, or carefully remove it and set aside.

Step 3: Twist the bottle

twist the corkTMB Studio

Cover the top of the bottle with a kitchen towel or napkin, 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), slowly rotate the bottle while holding the cork with the towel. The cork should begin spinning slightly, allowing the gas to gradually and naturally escape.

At this point, you should hear a gentle hiss. Don’t let it shoot out at full speed: Keep a little pressure on the cork as you slowly ease it out of the bottle.

Step 4: Open the bottle

remove cork from bottleTMB Studio

As the cork comes out, there should be little to no “pop.” That’s the goal. If the bottle was properly chilled and handled with care, there will be no overflow gushing out, either. But if there is, have the glasses ready. Flutes look nice but they aren’t necessarily the best glasses for champagne. Try white wine glasses instead!

Step 5: Pour and serve

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Rest the bottle on the rim of the glass to pour, which prevents those tiny bubbles from escaping. Then pour slowly, pausing to allow the bubbles to settle, and fill the glass about halfway.

Pass the glasses around, and clink a toast for any reason. Now everyone can enjoy a delicious glass of champagne with a tasty spread of one-bite snacks and other party food.

Up Next: How Long Does Champagne Last After Opening?

Pour the Bubbly for a Champagne Cocktail
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Camille Berry
With nearly a decade of freelancing under her belt (six with Taste of Home), Camille regularly taps into her background to write about about all things food and drink. Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a keyboard and covers all aspects of food and drink.
Lesley Balla
As an associate food editor for Taste of Home, Lesley writes and edits recipes, works closely with freelancers, and tracks cooking and food trends. After working in hospitality for a decade, Lesley went on to report on the food industry for national, regional and local print and digital publications. Throughout her career, she’s highlighted both famous and unsung culinary heroes, featured up-and-coming wine and spirits destinations, and closely followed the food scenes and chefs in many cities. Her own cooking style has been influenced by the places she's lived: Ohio, Key West, Massachusetts, Oregon, and a long stint in Southern California, where she still visits as often as possible, if only for the citrus and avocados. When not at her desk, you’ll find Lesley taking photos of everything, hitting farmers markets, baking something delicious at home and road-tripping around the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their bottled-chaos pup, Pucci, shucking oysters and cracking crabs along the way.