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How to Open a Champagne Bottle

By
Matthew Krimmel
Table of Contents
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Studies have shown that drinking champagne may provide health benefits. It could be good for your heart, has proteins that boost short-term memory, and contains fewer calories than red and white wine.

However, it's vital to know how to open a champagne bottle before you indulge in a glass. Read on to learn more about how to do it properly.

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How to Open a Champagne Bottle

There are occasions when you want to open a bottle of champagne to celebrate. It could be a wedding, ringing in a new year, or celebrating a promotion at work.

However, it's to follow steps to remove the cork safely and effectively.

Here's how to open a champagne bottle in 5 easy steps:

1- Make sure your bottle is chilled.

You want your bottle of champagne to be chilled, about 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, to lower the pressure inside the bottle. If it isn't cold enough, the cork will release from the bottle and become a dangerous, flying projectile.

Fill up an ice bucket and add some water to it, then let your bottle soak for a while. It will ensure that your bottle is ready for a safe opening.

Dry your bottle to prevent it from slipping out of your hand.

2- Cut the foil below the tip of the bottle.

Many champagne bottles come with a tab to help you open the bottle. However, the tab can fail to make its way around the bottle, leaving you feeling frustrated.

Cut the foil to create an even and clean line around the bottle. Once the foil is off, the cork and cage, or "muselet" in French, will be free.

3- Use a towel to cover the cage and cork, then twist the cage counterclockwise.

It's a good idea to cover the cage and cork with a towel as an extra precaution. You might be uncertain whether the bottle is cold enough to open. It adds a level of safety to opening a bottle of champagne.

Hold the bottle away from you and others at a 45-degree angle, then twist the cage in a counterclockwise direction. Never point the bottle at anyone as a safety precaution.

Apply pressure to the cork and twist the bottle. Untwist the cage until it becomes loose around the entire bottle.

4- Begin to extract the cork from the bottle.

Keep applying pressure to the cork while twisting the bottle. Once the bottle starts becoming loose around it and can spin, ease the cork away from the bottle.

Continue doing this until the pressure inside the bottle pushes the cork out on its own. Apply a bit of light pressure on the cork to prevent it from releasing too quickly and forcefully. The bottle's internal pressure is pushing it out, but you can control how slowly you remove it.

Ease it out with a gentle hissing sound instead of experiencing the popping noise.

5- Wipe the tip of the bottle and serve the champagne.

Once you remove the cork, clean the bottle's tip, serve it, and enjoy.

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How to Open a Sparkling Wine Bottle with a Plastic Top

Plastic corks, or synthetic corks, won't expand inside the bottle, so their bottom end gets coated with cork bits. It triggers a reaction to the gas inside the bottle and helps the cork's expansion to create a seal.

However, the process you would use to remove a plastic cork is the same as removing a traditional wooden one.

Here's how you remove a plastic cork from a bottle of prosecco, cava, sekt, or any other sparkling wine:

  • Ensure that you chill the bottle to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit and have a towel ready.
  • Stand the bottle on a table and remove the foil. Place one hand over the crown of the cage as a safety precaution.
  • Twist the key six times, which should release the cage. Remove the cage and cover it with your towel.
  • Give others in the room an alert to stand back and hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle.
  • Twist the bottle (again, not the cork) slowly until the gasses begin to escape.
  • Listen for a hissing sound, and the cork should release into the towel.

Removing a plastic cork the right way doesn't sound exciting.

However, it ensures your and your guests' safety when you want to enjoy some sparkling wine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you open a bottle of champagne that's hard to open?

If you encounter a cork that's difficult to remove, hold the bottle's neck under running warm water for 3-5 minutes. This added warmth should interact with the carbonation inside the top of the bottle to push the cork out.

Can you use a corkscrew to open a bottle of champagne?

Never use a corkscrew to open a bottle of champagne. It will become a larger and more dangerous projectile than the cork.

What is one of the most important rules when opening a bottle of champagne?

Ensure that you never point the top of the bottle in anyone's direction. Champagne bottles contain a high amount of pressure. It can make a cork dangerous in an incorrectly opened bottle. It's also why champagne bottles use thicker glass than still wines.

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Practice Safety

Now that you've learned the correct way to open a bottle of champagne, you're ready to have a glass. When opening a bottle of your favorite bubbly, remember to practice safety and follow our steps to ensure a good time for everyone.

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