Impress your friends and waiters, who frequently don't do this correctly. Open Champagne with this method to reduce the risk of mishap, and ensure that none of the precious liquid is wasted. After all, firing the cork across the room may be fun, but wouldn't you rather drink the Champagne than have it gush onto the floor?
- Chill the bottle, for about three hours in the refrigerator or half an hour in a bucket of ice water.
- Wrap a towel or cloth around the bottle, to guard against the unlikely event of breakage.
- Remove the foil wrap.
- Place one hand firmly on the neck of the bottle, with your thumb maintaining pressure on the metal capsule against the cork.
- Twist the wire ring six half-turns counter clockwise.
- Remove the wire cage and shift your thumb so as to now maintain pressure on the cork (in case the bottle pressure tries to pop the cork prematurely).
- Tilt the bottle at a 45° angle, facing away from you.
- Hold the cork firmly, and slowly twist the bottle. (Yes, this is the correct technique; turn the bottle, not the cork.)
- As you feel the cork begin to loosen and rise, hold it with back pressure from your hand. Allow the cork to slowly ease out of the bottle. If done correcly, you will hear a gentle "sigh" rather than a "pop".
- Pour a small amount in each glass.
- As the initial mousse subsides, pour more Champagne into each glass.
Note: the photos don't precisely match the instructions in some steps, such as the use of a towel wrap and maintaining thumb pressure on the cork. This man is a professional who opens Champagne for a living. It's recommended that you follow the steps as written.