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How to Open a Bottle of Champagne 2007-12-27 09:57:32

Simple Tip: How to Pop the Cork!

Whenever there's champagne at a party, I always end up being the cork-popper. It's a relatively new responsibility of mine; just a few years ago I couldn't handle it. I always assumed I'd break a window, or shoot someone's eye out. However, now that I have the hang of it, I actually enjoy it. There's something exciting about the pop! If you wish to learn how to do it, hopefully these tips will help out.

  1. First of all, make sure the champagne is chilled. A chilled bottle is less likely to pop on its own, besides champagne tastes better cold.
  2. Once you take the bottle out of the fridge, remove the foil wrapping to expose a wire cage-like covering. There should be a twisted bit of wire holding it in place. Find the wire and turn it — there's a little loop for you to hang on to — about six half-turns. When loose, remove the cage.
  3. To find out what to do next,


  4. At this point, I always place a tea towel over the cork, but not everyone does it this way. I just find it is easier to grip the cork, and if it does fly out, you've got it — more or less — covered. So, with or without tea towel. grab the cork firmly with one hand. Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle and hold the base of it with your other hand. Be sure to point it away from all your guests, windows and expensive breakables. I also like to hold it over the sink just in case.
  5. Next, while holding on to the cork, twist the bottle slowly. If you do it correctly, you won't really have a huge pop, but more of a little whisper. It's better to twist the bottle, but if you can't go ahead and twist the cork; I do it in half turns alternating each direction. Just make sure to keep your grip firm, and nothing will break, nothing will fly and champagne will be had by all!

Oh and never use a corkscrew on a champagne cork. There is so much pressure inside that you run the risk of having the bottle explode.

Do you have a special cork-popping technique? Share it with us below!

lady_jade lady_jade 8 years
ok keeping the cage on worked ok for me, but I added a tea towel too...and voila, success!
lady_jade lady_jade 8 years
using a corkscrew with champagne is so wild, you ladies are living on the edge :) I do have a question, it's seems like when I open a bottle that has been chilled for a few days (as opposed to a quick chill with salt) I cannot move the cork or the bottle-it's like they are both glued together. Maybe I'm not using enough force or something? I'm going to try out the keeping-the-cage-on tip tonight and see if that helps... Great post though Yum!
bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
I just make my fiance do it and I stand as far away as possible. It always pops but never runs over which is nice. Its good to know not to use a corkscrew (never have anyway) because I got this really cool bottle of italian champagne and I would like to reuse as a vase or something when it's empty.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
I spent a summer pouring champagne for high-priced donors to a now-defunct opera company. We had to pop corks in the reception rooms during the first act of the opera, so we got good at making a whisper-quiet production of it. My uncle handed me a bottle of champagne for what he had hoped would be the explosive and magical sound to cap off a celebration of my cousin's engagement and was disappointed when all it made was a slight "pffft" noise. While I understand the allure of popping corks, the explosive decompression of the bottle releases more bubbles and destroys much of the hard work of the manufacturer. Remove the foil and undo the basket, but DON'T REMOVE IT. There are indentations in the cork where the basket has been tightened - those help to maintain a good grip on the cork. Tea towels just get in the way. Twist the bottle slowly by holding on to the bottom, and keep a tight hand on the cork. It's not guaranteed not to make noise, but the chances are a lot lower.
Sunshine-in-Seattle Sunshine-in-Seattle 9 years
This is one of my biggest pet peeves! There are a few things in life that everyone should know how to do and pop a cork is certainly one of them... add to that list open a bottle of wine without damaging the cork and start a BBQ grill with charcoal. I have a lot more, but start with the basics people!
Annika2494003 Annika2494003 9 years
isn't the sound of champagne popping divine? love it!
diasin diasin 9 years
I went to a winery that had sparkling wines and they suggested loosening but not completely removing the wire cage, gripping the cork with the cage still on it, and twisting the bottle (twisting the bottle and not the cork is the important part). I've found that this method allows me to get a better grip the cork.
aSLAMMINhottie aSLAMMINhottie 9 years
I didn't know about twisting the bottle instead of the cork; thanks for the tip! I may just have to get a practice bottle this weekend :-)
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
oooh. well, what do i use the corkscrew for then? and i believe in passing it to someone who is an expert. Vodka is a great alternative.
Manoukia Manoukia 9 years
If you have problems turning the cork, you could use a nutcracker to grip the cork. It makes everything easier, and like with the tea towel trick, won't go flying anywhere.
partysugar partysugar 9 years
The twisty thing on a bottle of sparkling wine comes off with six turns every time. It's exactly six. Learned it in a wine class. Fun little fact I like to mention when I open bubbly.
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
My special cork popping technique: Pass the bottle over to someone who knows. If there's no one around, drink vodka.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
I always like to do this at about a 60 degree angle, facing directly away from the breakables, but with the cork aimed squarely at the most annoying guest/rela-tic! This may require a little advanced planning or positioning, but it works like a charm! ;)
rainydaybleus rainydaybleus 9 years
just to be on the safe side, i always cover the top with a dish towel. you still get the pop and bubble over effect.
PrincessTracy PrincessTracy 9 years
Ooooohhhh....yah I did it with a corkscrew. Now everything makes sense.
I'm always afraid I'm gonna have the cork pop off and hit me in the nose. Too many movies I guess, because it has yet to occur.
sundrops sundrops 9 years
My head was hurting in anticipation of hearing the POP just reading this article!
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Thank you for this, yum! I almost kill myself every time I try to open a bottle. I'll feel a little bit safer next time.
emalove emalove 9 years
I've only popped the cork on a bottle of champage once and it didn't do the big "pop" either, Kia...
kia kia 9 years
I don't get this. I have never had a bottle go POP on me, the cork fly off, or champagne gush out the top. I simply take off the foil, undo the basket, grip the cork with my bare hand and slightly but firmly twist it as I pull it out. All I get are those cool vapors from the fermentation that are then released into the air. If I do want to get that dramatic effect that people freak out about I wonder if I should shake the bottle then tell folks to put on safety glasses?
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