How to Open a Bottle of Champagne the Right Way

Jack Mason, a master sommelier at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Texas, guides T&C through the correct technique of uncorking a bottle of champagne, ensuring that there is no necessity to exclaim “duck” loudly.

When the cork is released rapidly due to insufficient cooling, a geyser-like eruption can occur, posing a potential danger. It is crucial to ensure that the champagne or sparkling wine bottle is adequately chilled to approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent ice means that the liquid in the bottle will cool the surface area more. Here’s a helpful tip: to keep your bottles very cold and quickly cool down your bottle, use a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent ice.

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2. Use a Wine Key to Cut off the Foil Below the Large Lip of the Bottle

The cork and cage are revealed once the foil is taken off, allowing for a smooth, neat cut around the bottle when the foil is sliced. Generally, if the tab doesn’t successfully encircle the bottle, an unsightly accumulation of extra foil remains, even though every sparkling wine is equipped with a tab to assist with opening the bottle.

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If you want to ensure that the bottle of wine in the ice bath stays dry, make sure your hands are out of sleep when you take the bottle out.

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3. Use a Napkin or Towel.

This creates another safety measure that can help prevent a bullet from flying off like a cork. Fold a kitchen towel or napkin lengthwise and put it over the cork and cage.

Safety is paramount when opening a bottle of sparkling wine, as the pressure behind the cork is typically around 90 psi. It’s important to put this into perspective, as car tires often have three times that amount of pressure.

4. Untwist the cage counterclockwise, putting pressure on the cork to keep it from popping out prematurely.

Loosen the cage completely around the bottle and then untwist the “O” six times. It is ideal to hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle.

5. Twist the bottle—not the cork.

If you twist the cork, the inside of the bottle can break. To start extracting the cork, loosen the cage that is keeping the cork secured by twisting and then remove the cork.

6.Once the bottle starts to loosen from the cork and is able to spin freely, begin to slowly pull the cork away from the bottle.

Do you naturally begin to feel the push of pressure in the bottle until the cork pops out? Once you feel it, gently start moving the cork against its own push to quickly release it.

7. Now that the pressure of the bottle is driving the cork out, you can control how quickly the cork separates itself from the bottle.

Strive for that, when a bottle of effervescent wine is uncorked with hardly a sound, it never fails to impress. The sound that ensues is more delicate, as the cork detaches itself from the bottle at a slower pace.

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9. Once the cork is removed, give the lip of the bottle a quick wipe and then serve it.

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