How to Open a Bottle of Champagne

champagne_1Are you planning to welcome in the New Year with Ryan Seacrest or Anderson Cooper or some other television host?

If so, you’ve taken the first step toward having a safe celebration. You won’t be out there with all the crazies on the road.

But a small degree of danger lurks even for those who celebrate at home, and it involves opening that bottle of bubbly, which is under so much pressure that it must be secured to the bottle with a “cage.”

A bottle of sparkling wine — whether it’s a refreshing Cava from Spain, a tasty Prosecco from Italy or a Premier Cru from France — has a lot of pressure under its cork.

Specifically, 70 to 90 pounds per square inch, or about three times the pressure in a typical set of tires.

That’s why opening a bottle of Champagne must be approached with care.

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

  1. Remove the foil on the top of the bottle.
  2. Slowly “unwind” the wire “cage” handle. Note: As you remove the cage, quickly place a hand towel on top of the cork.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Safely… bubbly… and deliciously.

Corks flying across a room may look cool on TV, but too many that are aimed poorly end up causing permanent eye damage. So please choose the “poof” over the “pop” for everyone’s safety.

Happy New Year!

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Posted in Editor's Journal, Wine Buzz
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