Wine 101: How to Open a Champagne Bottle
If you’ve never learned how to open a Champagne bottle, it can seem a bit intimidating. What if it explodes everywhere? What if you can’t get the cork out? What if you spill all over your carefully selected New Year’s Eve outfit? No need to worry – Bright Cellars can help you become a bottle popping pro, just in time for the holidays.
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How to Pop a Champagne Bottle The Proper Way
We’ve all seen the clips of sports teams spraying bubbly all over the locker room to celebrate a big win. Or worse, that scene on the Bachelor (#ChampagneGate) where one of the ladies got a face full of Champagne after drinking straight from the bottle.
While we’re not denying these acts of celebration can be fun, they’re more likely to result in a foamy mess and wasted wine. Here’s the proper way to enjoy sparkling wine – classy, controlled, and savoring every last drop.
Step 1. Make sure your bottle is chilled.
Before you begin the process of opening Champagne or sparkling wine, make sure your bottle has been chilled to about 45 degrees.
Chilling decreases the pressure inside the bottle, making it less likely for your sparkling wine to explode, fizz, or bubble out. Here are 5 hacks to chill your wine fast if you’re in a pinch.
Step 2. Remove the foil.
Using the knife of a corkscrew, remove the foil on your sparkling wine bottle.
Step 3: Carefully remove the wire cage.
Untwist the wire cage (it should take about 6 half turns), and set the cage aside. Once the wire cage is removed, keep your thumb on the cork to prevent an early pop!
Step 4. Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle with one hand on the base and one on the cork.
Hold the bottle however you feel most comfortable, which will usually be with your dominant hand on the base and the other on the cork.
Step 5. Twist the bottle, not the cork.
Here’s the trick that will change the game. When you’re opening a bottle of Champagne, your intuition will tell you to twist the cork. Instead, keep the cork stationary and use your base hand to twist the bottle.
Step 6. Gently remove the cork.
Once you feel the pressure release and the cork free up, gently remove the cork from the bottle. Yes, we call this act ‘popping Champagne’ but if you ask culinary professionals or wine experts, the less ‘pop’ the better. It should actually sound more like a whoosh or a whisper.
Step 7. Pour slowly, and enjoy.
So you opened your bottle of sparkling wine successfully and avoided a big foamy mess. Congrats! The last thing you want to do is serve your guests up, only to watch their Champagne flutes overflow with foam. Pro tip: when serving the first round, pour an inch of sparkling wine and then wait for it to settle. When the coast is clear, fill the glass the rest of the way up.
In Vino Finito
Now that you know how to pop a Champagne bottle, are you ready to show off your skills at family Christmas? Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!