Professionally Open and Serve a Champagne Bottle or Sparkling Wine with a Wooden Cork

Edited by VisiHow, Dougie-1, Anonymous

When it comes to opening a bottle of Champagne or any sparkling drink that is traditionally sealed and wrapped, people start getting cold feet, fearing the myth that the cork is going to pop out and hit someone in the eye. This is in part due to the fact that opening a champagne bottle is often part of a celebration and people have the perception it is supposed to be done with a loud noise (often called "the pop"). This is, however, not the only way or the best way to do it.

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This is because the bigger the pop of the bottle, the more fizz the actual drink will lose. The fizz or the so called bubbles in the drink come from carbon dioxide in the liquid under high pressure. When the bottle is opened, this pressure drops and the gas is released in the form of bubbles. That is why after shaking a bottle or leaving it in a warm place, the initial pressure change is higher, making the carbonization quicker, and causing the drink itself to become flat faster.

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What This Article Will Teach You About Champagne

In the article below, we're going to show you step by step how to properly open a bottle of Champagne or sparkling drink for your next celebration.

When you're done, you'll be able to do it like pro, and even without making a sound, which is the proper way to open bottles. We've even put together a video at the end of this guide to show you exactly how we did it, and how you can do it too.

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Before You Get Started

Before opening a bottle of champagne it should be properly chilled, however, keeping it in the freezer for too long will make it freeze up and cause the bottle to explode. Our suggestion is to simply put it in the fridge for a few hours or in a bucket with iced water (ice and water).

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Things you'll need:

  • A bottle of champagne, or any sparkling drink
  • An iced bucket (optional)
  • A white cloth or fabric napkin (optional)
  • Champagne flutes

How to Open Champagne or Sparkling Drink Like a Pro

  1. 1
    Take the bottle and wipe it dry with the napkin, if it has been in the water or there is condensation, holding it slightly tilted, pointing away from yourself or anyone in the room.
    Leave the napkin between your hand and the cold bottle.
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  2. 2
    Take off the foil wrapper from the top of the bottle.
    Most bottles have a small tab indicating the place for the most effective opening.
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  3. 3
    Hold the bottle at the bottom with one hand and peel the tip of the muselet, also known as the wire cage, perpendicularly to the bottle.
    Then twist it counter clockwise six times with the other.
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  4. 4
    For potential noise reduction and safety, cover the exposed cork with the white napkin.
    You can also put your hand over it to make sure the cork does not unexpectedly come out.
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  5. 5
    Slowly turn the bottle with the hand at the bottom of it, keeping a tight grip on the cork at the top so that it does not move.
    If turning does not work, then gently twist the bottle sideways, still keeping a tight grip at the top, as this will loosen the cork.
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  6. 6
    Once you feel pressure building on the cork, slowly twist the bottle.
    This should cause the bottle and cork to separate, leaving you with the bottle in one hand and the cork in the other. The more slowly you do this, the less sound it will make.
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  7. 7
    Now serve the drink holding the bottle at the bottom, as this will give you more control over it when pouring.
    You can put the napkin between your hand and the bottle for more comfort.
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  8. 8
    When you are finished, place the bottle back in the iced bucket.
    Then cover it with the napkin.
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Additional Tips and Suggestions

  • If you are serving the drink for somebody else, make sure the label is facing your guests or the customers you are serving.
  • There are variations on the position of the white napkin, feel free to use the one most comfortable for you.
  • It can be helpful to tilt the glass you are pouring into, particularly the first few glasses.
  • If you are serving somebody, they might want to keep the cork if it is a special bottle such as at a wedding ceremony or anniversary. In this case, you can put it in the muselet which can then be folded and put on to the rim of the ice bucket.

Warnings on Opening Champagne or Sparkling Drink

  • Once the muselet is off, the cork can pop any second. This is true even if you have been very careful not to shake it. You can never know where the bottle has been before it got in your hands.
  • Never point the bottle at a person or fragile objects (particularly glass). This is a safety precaution, as you should always be in control of the cork and bottle when opening it, but it should still be observed at all times.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Etiquette

Recent edits by: Dougie-1, VisiHow

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