How to Open a Bottle of Champagne

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Pop culture references to champagne often show corks launching dangerously across a room or fizz showering from the bottle, but all this creates is a risk of injury and unnecessary mess. Champagne and sparkling wine should not spew out of the bottle, and the cork should not leave your hands. Extreme pressure can send corks flying in some cases, but you should only hear a faint pop as the cork is released.

Removing the Packaging

Champagne and sparkling wine bottles feature a wire cage designed to prevent the cork from popping out of the bottle neck until you're ready to open it. A decorative foil wrapper encases the cage and cork. The foil wrapper has a small tab that you pull to tear the foil and remove it from the bottle, revealing the cage. The wire cage is simply thin wire twisted to hold it tight against the cork. To loosen the wire cage, twist the small wire tab or key -- around the bottle neck -- to untwist the wire.

Popping the Cork

Pressure can build up inside a champagne bottle and push the cork out of the neck at any time, so the cork should always be treated with care. Keep the bottle neck pointed in a safe direction away from people and breakable objects after removing the cage. Hold your thumb firmly over the cork to help keep it in the neck until ready to remove the cork. Hold a clean kitchen towel over the cork and neck to prevent a mess in case champagne spews out of the bottle when opened. Grip the cork with your hand over the towel. Hold the cork in place with one hand while using your other hand to slowly, gently twist the bottom of the bottle until you hear the "pop" when the cork is free.