A bottle of bubbly is the height of sophistication, but to put a twist to a great quote of our generation- with great style comes great responsibility. Being properly able to open a bottle of champagne is an art and fumbling at it will dissolve all your good reputation of charismatic host. In fact, a faux pas in opening this drink may be considered a travesty in some circles. So before you introduce this gem of your alcohol collection, learn a trick or two to do justice to the hundred dollar bottle.
The Proper Way
There are actually not many variations of the normal, proper way of opening a bottle of bubbly, even though hosts often try to alter the steps to wow their guests. But if you are of the more traditional mold, here are the steps to follow:
Make sure the champagne is chilled and calm. There is usually a gold foil wrapped around the cork of the bottle. Tease it out and remove the foil.
Keep the cork pointed away from you (and unsuspecting guests) so that it doesn’t pop out and take out someone’s eye.
You will see a wire frame over the cork which is intended to prevent accidental uncorking, which may occur due to pressure build-up. Loosen the cage and undo it. Also, keep a thumb firmly over the cork to prevent unpleasant surprises.
Put a towel over the cork. Now holding the cork stationary, gently turn the bottle by holding the base. In this way, you get to ease the cork off instead of popping it out. This is definitely less theatrical than popping the cork out, followed by a generous gush of champagne, but it does not waste any of the golden liquid.
Pour the champagne quickly into glasses, but make sure you pour it gently by the side and not splash it down. This way you will not lose the bubbles.
After pouring into each glass, do a quick turn of the bottle a bit to catch the liquid dripping down the lip of the bottle.
This is a tradition of opening a champagne bottle with a sword or a knife and it originated in France in the era of Napoleon. It is a widely popular party trick and is one of the coolest ways to open a champagne bottle. But unlike the popular opinion, it does not require great skill nor is it highly dangerous. Well, not unless you are doing it way wrong. Here’s the how-to:
Remove the foil.
Run a finger below the lip of the bottle and you will find a seam because champagne bottles are made of two pieces of glass.
Slide the dull edge of the knife on the seam from bottom.
In one fluid and mildly forceful motion, slide the knife from the bottom to the neck and pop. If you hold the bottle in a forty five degree angle, there will be little spill and there is no glass breakage.
So there you have, a proper way and a fun way to open a champagne bottle.