How to Open a Champagne Bottle the Right Way
Six thousand, six hundred (6600) times a month someone googles the term “how to open a bottle of Champagne” or “how do you open a bottle of Champagne“. I’ve seen a lot of different variations and opinions, usually on how you hold the bottle, but what is most important is that it’s done safely. (and the Champagne tastes wonderful, of course!)
Some say the right way to open a Champagne bottle is to hold it at a 45-degree angle across your chest… others say to rest the bottom of the bottle against your beltline facing away instead of to your side, but in all cases, a 45-degree angle is the best and will be explained in the video/article.
Our video stars Erik Segelbaum, a colorful character who will show us how to open a Champagne bottle, or a bottle of bubbly safely and properly…. so enjoy! After watching this video, learn how a monk by the name of Dom Perignon almost accidentally discovered how to make sparkling wine and Champagne! Cheers ~Nick
That is not just about elegance, not just about celebration, but also really about safety, because basically, this is a loaded gun. We want to make sure that nobody is injured. In fact, over 80 people a year are injured from flying champagne corks, some seriously. That’s something we want to avoid when opening every champagne bottle or bottle of sparkling wine.
This really applies to anything that’s Carbonated and pressurized, they will come with some sort of a little tab. I personally don’t like this, because it’s very messy and doesn’t always get a clean open.
What I like to use, is the knife blade of my wine key, I just make one slice around the base of the neck to the back, one slice around the base of the neck to the front, one slice up the neck, and what you’ll get is a nice clean, capsule ready for safe opening.
Now, the next step of how to open a Champagne bottle is where it becomes very important. There are six atmospheres of pressure in a Champagne bottle. That is enough to send this court flying like a bullet, and we certainly don’t want that. So from this point the most important element of keeping this a safe operation is your thumb never leaves the top. A lot of people like to take the cage off, not only is that an unnecessary step, but frankly it’s dangerous.
Should a Champagne Bottle Pop or Not?
So the next step to how to open a Champagne bottle is we’re going to place our thumb right over the top. We’re going to find where the cage is twisted and then bend that up, and we’re going to untwist it. There’s a great debate about how many twists are in a Champagne cage, also known as a muselet if you really wanted to know the name of it. Some say there are five twists, some say six. It’s really five and a half, but who’s counting! Again, there are six atmospheres of pressure in this bottle and what we’re going to do is safely dispel that pressure out of the bottle without causing an explosive release.
So what you should do is hold the bottle at about 45 degrees, and the reason for that is all of that pressure is going to want to release at the highest point of the bottle. If you hold it at 45 degrees everything from the shoulders down is where all of this pressure is going to go and the only pressure pushing out to the top is just from the top. We can keep most of the pressure focused on the top of the bottle, not where the cord is. Again your thumb is never going to leave the top, and here’s a really important trick.
You’re, not taking the cork out. What you really are doing is twisting the bottle and easing the pressure back to allow the cork to be naturally released. So we’re going to wrap your hand around the cage and the cage will give you a really great grip on the cork. Hold the bottle up 45 degrees and with your other hand, just gently twist.
While you’re twisting you’re just easing back on the pressure of the cork, and eventually, it will begin to come out. It takes a few turns, and you just want to hold back as it continues to go until you’ve got a sound like this. (it’s more of a “pfffft” than a “pop“…. ~Nick)
Just a nice gentle sigh of happiness! When you learn how to open a Champagne bottle or sparkling wine bottle properly, it really shouldn’t pop. If they pop, it means you’re opening it too fast, and I know sometimes it’s nice to have that celebration and that big, loud noise reverberating through the room, but ultimately a pop means.
It really wasn’t open safely and that pop could be followed by a cork flying across the room! There you go, now you know how to open a Champagne bottle safely! Here is the link if you want to watch it on YouTube!
Learn More or Try Some New Wine…
If you want some personal wine recommendations from our co-editor and knowledgeable consultant, contact [email protected], or call Pat at (866) 332-9463. He is a 27-year veteran professional consultant.
He’ll learn your preferences and budget, and never try to convince you to get something you won’t enjoy… and if you don’t, he’ll take back the empty bottle (actually. you can keep it) and send you something else to replace it!
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