How to Open a Bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine

How to Open a Bottle of Champagne or Sparkling WineWe’ve all been to parties, or seen movies, where the host pops a bottle champagne.  It spills all over, everyone laughs, and a joyous time is had by all.  Okay, it’s fine to do that if you have an extra bottle or three of champagne around, because that bottle was strictly theater.

When you open a bottle of sparkling wine, treat it gently and use care.  (It deserves it!)  The contents of a bottle of sparkling wine are under great pressure.  Aim it away from other people, including you.  The cork could shoot off.  (So don’t aim it at any breakable items that you love, either.)

Always hold the top of the bottle with a cloth napkin in case the whole shebang breaks.  If the cork is particularly sticky, run the neck under warm water to increase the pressure and help the cork get moving.

1)     After you take off the foil, take off the wire.  Have a napkin ready.

2)     Hold the top of the bottle with the napkin.  Don’t pull the cork around.  Hold the cork still, and twist the bottle.  This keeps the top of the cork from breaking off.

3)     If you take the cork out slowly, there should be no fountain spewing around the room.  And, once the cork is out, cover the top of the bottle with the napkin under your hand.  It slows the release of pressure and stops the geyser effect.

4)     Look elegant while you’re removing the cork.  Celebration and elegance is what champagne is about.  Oh, wait.  It’s about having a great time, too.


Writer: Meredith Blevins, featured travel writer for the Authentic Wine Country.  Join her for wine-country mysteries, classes, and the untamed west.


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