Showering party guests in Champagne is undoubtedly a fun way to celebrate accomplishments and significant life moments. A quiet display of the popping cork and pouring the drink is an elegant way to enjoy these bottles on special occasions, too. Whether you’re pouring a unique prosecco cocktail for your dinner or starting your day with a bubbly mimosa, knowing how to pop a Champagne bottle will save you the hassle of cleaning up and helps you get the most out of each bottle.
Our step-by-step guide will cover what you need to open a Champagne bottle, including two possible methods, so you can be confident in your bottle-opening abilities and impress your guests at your next big event or casual get-together.
What Do You Need to Open a Champagne Bottle?
The challenging part of opening Champagne isn’t getting the cork out but being able to control the bottle so it doesn’t go flying. You’ll want to ease the cork out of the bottle slowly and gently so you can catch the cork once the bottle pops. The two most essential items you’ll need are a wine key and towel:
- Wine key: A wine key lets you cut the foil away from the bottle. The tab many people use to reveal the cork underneath can rip or leave a mess of excess foil. With the sharp, serrated edge of the wine key, you can create a clean cut with even lines, making the cork more exposed.
- Towel: Having a towel handy is not for cleaning up a mess. Instead, the towel helps maintain a grip on the cork to ensure it doesn’t fly away from you. If the cork does fly free from your hand, the towel also adds another layer of safety by keeping a barrier between it and you or your guests.
How to Open Champagne the Correct Way
Correctly opening a bottle of Champagne is more than a tactic to keep festivities running smoothly. This method is all about staying safe and keeping the cork under control so it doesn’t harm you or your guests. Follow these steps to open Champagne the correct way:
- Chill the bottle: Always be sure to chill your Champagne bottle. When it’s too warm, the pressure in the bottle causes the cork to release much faster, so storing Champagne and sparkling wine at the right temperature is key. If you keep the bottle in an ice bucket, dry the outside before opening it.
- Use your wine key: Rather than trying to peel the foil from the tab, use your wine key. Cut below the large lip and make an even, clean cut around the bottle. At this point, you should be able to see the cork and cage fully.
- Grab your towel: Using a small hand towel, ensure you have a good grip on the cage and cork. You should not peel or remove the cage until you have the towel around it.
- Prepare the bottle: Hold the Champagne bottle at a 45-degree angle and ensure you have a solid grip on the cork and body.
- Remove the cage: Turning counterclockwise, untwist the cage to expose the cork. As you turn, put enough pressure on the cork to keep it from popping prematurely. It may take several half-turns to remove the cage completely.
- Twist the bottle: Continue applying pressure to the cork as you remove it. Ensure you twist the bottle rather than the cork because doing the reverse can break the cork off inside the bottle.
- Wait for the cork to spin: As you twist, you’ll notice the cork starting to turn naturally. As the cork rises, push against it to stop it from releasing too quickly.
- Control the speed: The slower the bottle and cork separate from each other, the more gentle the final extraction. Notice a difference in the hissing sound the bottle makes. A soft, low noise means you’re on the right track.
- Remove the cork and serve: Pull the cork free and proudly display the open bottle. Pour Champagne into every flute or glass and enjoy a refreshing glass with your guests. As a pro tip, only pour about an inch of wine into every glass at first to keep the drink bubbly without foam. After a few seconds, the foamy bubbles will subside, and you can continue pouring.
How to Open Champagne With a Knife
Even if you don’t have a wine key or want to impress your guests with a party trick, you can still enjoy Champagne cocktail recipes and refreshing glasses of bubbly. Opening Champagne and sparkling wine with a knife is a great way to kick off a party, so here’s how to do it:
- Start with a chilled bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne and ensure it is dry enough to hold steady.
- Use your fingers to remove the foil and cage if you don’t have a wine key.
- Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle. Ensure you don’t point the bottle at another guest or breakable objects, as the cork and top will fly off.
- Turn the bottle until you find the seam where the two halves of the bottle meet. This is the weakest part of the bottle, so you can focus your attention on these areas.
- Use your non-dominant hand to hold the base of the bottle with your thumb resting underneath.
- Locate the annulus, the small ring at the top of the bottle before the cork, as this is where you will want to hit with the back of your knife. This is where the seams meet.
- Keep the seam facing upward and run the blunt edge of your knife across it to get a feel for the bottle sabering motion. When you feel comfortable, slide the knife back down to the annulus. Use a swift and punch-like gesture for a clean cut.
- Inspect the neck for glass shards before pouring. Use a clean towel to wipe away any excess liquid or foil debris before serving.
It’s best to open bottles this way in an open space and a safe distance away from other people. Because glass can go flying, ensure you never point the bottle toward other people or breakable objects. Should the bottle break, carefully inspect where the glass pieces land and pick up any tiny shards that could injure pets or people.
If you don’t feel confident in your knife-handling abilities, you should not attempt this trick. Opt for the classic way, or offer for someone else to pop the bottle. Small glass shards can remain on the neck of the bottle after opening it with a knife, so it’s not safe to use this method unless you are confident in your ability to make a clean cut. Even experienced openers should always clean the top before pouring as a precaution.
Pop Open a Bottle of Champagne From Marketview Liquor
Marketview Liquor is a nationally known wine retailer that ships your favorite wines and Champagne across the country. Our staff is professional and knowledgeable about the products we sell, and we’re passionate about delivering quality bottles to each customer, whether you’re celebrating an event or enjoying a night in.
At Marketview Liquor, we offer a vast collection of high-quality beverages at competitive prices. As a family-run business, you can also expect a more personal experience with us than with other retailers. We offer the widest range possible of wine and liquor, so you can always find your favorite or try something new.
Browse our Champagne and sparkling wine collection for refreshing and delicious bottles delivered right to your door.