How Do You Safely Remove a Champagne Cork?

Opening Champagne bottleBack in the “good old days,” a team would win the World Series, and shortly thereafter, the cameras would take you inside the winning team’s locker room.

Bedlam then would ensue as Champagne bottles would be opened, with corks flying in all directions and foam spraying from the bottles. Within a few seconds, the eyes of both the TV announcer and the players would be stinging. Those were not tears of happiness we saw on our screens.

After this year’s World Series, most of the Kansas City Royals players were decked out in elaborate glasses to protect their eyes. A few looked like they were going scuba diving. One can only wonder whether the company that provided that eyewear had to pay a placement fee.

The glasses would not have been necessary had those bottles of Champagne been opened properly — beginning with admonishment to not shake them. Shaking builds the pressure inside the bottle and can transform a cork into a dangerous flying object.

Step by step, here’s how to remove a Champagne cork safely:

  1. Remove the foil on the top of the bottle.
  1. Slowly “unwind” the wire “cage” handle.
  1. As you remove the cage, quickly place a hand towel on top of the cork.
  1. While gently pressing down, slowly twist the cork. Note: You need to press down in order to counter the pressure of the bubbles inside the bottle.
  1. Keep holding the cork with the towel while it comes out of the bottle’s neck.

Instead of a loud “pop,” you’ll instead hear a gentle “poof,” and the wine will be ready to pour.

By choosing “poof” over “pop,” you’ll be protecting not only your eyes, but also those of everyone else in the room.

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Posted in Wine FAQ
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