How to Pop Champagne
Tips for opening sparkling wine
Champagne showers, no more
There’s always the iconic movie scene that comes to mind when the occasion for popping champagne presents itself. If you’re in the camp of creating a scene fit for the cameras, shake up the bottle and carry on as you like. However, in the spirit of upholding safety, cleanliness, quantities of drinkable bubbly, your party’s outfits, and your surroundings, here is how to open champagne smoothly. Sparkling wine does taste better, after all, when served in a glass rather than sprayed across the room.
Pro Tip: Before opening champagne, ensure that your champagne is chilled. A few hours in the fridge will have you covered.
Sparkling wine of any sort is better served cold, and doing so keeps your prized bottle from foaming up and spilling over the bottle when you open it.
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How to open champagne
Step 1: Take off the foil wrapper
The majority of champagnes and sparkling wines out there are corked in a universal fashion—wrapped in foil that covers the wire cage keeping the cork in place. To start things off, take off the foil wrapper and toss it. You won’t need that anymore. You’ll now see the wire cage holding the cork secure. Some bottles will have a wrapper with a tab to ease your removal. For bottles that do not, you can handle by using the wine key’s foil cutter.
Step 2: Twist open the cage (but don’t remove it yet!)
Now the wire cage gets to come off. There should be a small tab near the neck of the bottle. Once you find it, twist it counterclockwise to the point that the cage is loosened around the cork. Important: Don’t fully remove the cage yet. Keeping the cage on prevents the cork from rocketing out of the bottle. Up to you what version of champagne popping you’re going for…
Step 3: Aim the bottle
As in, point the bottle away from any person present or valuable items. Our steps are guiding you to cover all your bases so that corks won’t go flying, but the rogue cork is always out there. Pointing your bottle to no man’s land is a best practice.
Step 4: Remove the cork slowly
Position the bottle at a 45-degree angle. With one hand, hold the cage securely in place against the cork. Start to rotate the bottle’s base slowly—not the cork—until you feel it begin to uncork. Even though twisting the base of the bottle could seem a bit unusual, it actually gives you the upper hand (literally and figuratively) to keep the cork under control. A cork with freedom may fly out of the bottle and burst across your social scenario.
Step 5: Carry on rotating the bottle
Continue with the same action from Step 3, while now steadily increasing the pressure your other hand is applying to the cork and cage. Soon enough, as your audience holds their breath (and you start to find yours), the cork will gradually slide out with a slight fizzing sound, up until it officially comes out fully. Queue up the ever so subtle pop.
Step 6: Pour & enjoy
The pop of the cork may have been the main event, but now you get to share in the experience of sipping on bubbly with the people around you. Pour the champagne, cheers to something wonderful, and let the memories commence.
Pro Tip: Pour champagne at an angle (tilt your glass) to prevent it from bubbling over.
…but we like it bubbling over too. May your cup overfloweth.
Another tip: Use a towel as an extra precaution.
The wire cage is designed intentionally to stop the cork from aggressively shooting out of the bottle, but it’s not completely risk-free. To be sure that your cork doesn’t fly into the crystal chandelier or shatter your grandma’s china, grab a dish towel. Drape said towel over the bottle, adding a layer to cover the opening. This improves your grip and will act as a net for the cork once it pops.
How to store an open bottle of champagne
Different from still wines, champagne and other sparkling drinks do not last long after being opened. A best practice? Finishing the bottle the same day you open it (don’t mind if you do). However, if you do want to relish that celebratory flavor over a few days, here are a few tricks of the bubble trade.
- Use a hermetic cork or champagne stopper. Seal the bottle and store in the fridge. Remember: Cold temps are a must to uphold those bubbles.
- If you don’t have the right stopper, wrap the bottle opening tightly with plastic wrap. Secure with a rubber band, then store it in the fridge.
May your life celebrations carry on and perhaps even last longer than one night of champagne (since you do have a method of storing it now!) Our intention is to continually bring you useful tips and tricks to ease your process of inviting people together. Since isn’t life really all about spending time together and creating the memories?
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