How to Open Champagne


Between Thanksgiving and New Years, there are always many bottles of champagne to pop.  Sometimes though, opening a bottle of champagne can be intimidating. 

Most of us open champagne just a few celebratory times a year, but my macaron classes feature bottomless bubbles (because everything is more fun that way, right?!) so I get in some solid bottle-poppin’ practice. 

Here’s the trick to gently easing the cork out so it doesn’t hit a dear friend:  grip the cork and twist the bottle away, removing the bottle from the cork. 

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Pull on the plastic tab to remove the foil.

Step 2: Untwist the wire cage. (All champagne makers have agreed to use exactly six turns on every wire cage.)

Step 3: At a 45 degree angle, stabilize the cork with your right hand, and firmly grip the bottom of the bottle with your left.

Step 4: Gripping the cork tightly, slowly twist the bottle away from you, toward the ground. You’ll feel the cork slide right into your hand.

Step 5: To serve, place your right thumb in the depression at the bottom of the bottle (called the punt), and stabilize the neck with your left hand. To control the bubbles and overflow, pour a little into each glass, returning a second time to top them off.

Want to learn more about champagne?  A few years ago I visited the Veuve Cliquot caves in France and wrote this little piece about how champagne is made and how Veuve got its name.