Picture the scene. You’re standing in a packed room surrounded by friends, family and associated hangers on. Maybe you’ve just finished making a rousing, inspirational speech. Maybe you can see the shining faces of crowd captivated by your natural, animal magnetism. Whispers rustle around the room like a light breeze. “Who is that dashing youth?” “I’ve never heard such soaring rhetoric from one so young and attractive.” “Is he/she single?”
As you bask in the adoration of the audience, you reach an absent minded hand to the table. Fingers curl around an imposing magnum of champagne. No matter. This is going to be the ultimate conclusion to one of the crowning moments of your life. You pop the cork. All hell breaks loose. A small, wooden missile sails straight into the middle of an elderly relative’s forehead, as fountains of froth erupt all over your best evening wear and the heads of those closest to you. Triumph has turned into disaster thanks to one shoddy uncorking. Applause turns to boos.
Opening a bottle of something bubbly is always fraught with danger. Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to end in disaster. Here is our handy guide to easily opening champagne without it exploding everywhere.
1. Chill your bottle
The proper temperature for serving champagne, according to “Town and Country”, is around 45 degrees fahrenheit. Any warmer, and the pressure within the bottle will cause the cork to pop too quickly, making it potentially dangerous.
2. Use a wine key
Though almost every bottle of bubbly will have a tab to help you expose the metal cage, this can sometimes prove ineffective - leaving a mess of foil that makes it difficult to properly uncork the drink. Using a wine key will give you a singular, clean cut around the neck.
3. Use a towel
Champagne waiters don’t wander around draped in towels for the hell of it. Using a towel or a napkin as you uncork not only adds another layer of safety, but it also makes you look like you know what your doing - always a bonus.
4. Twist the bottle
The most common mistake when uncorking is to apply pressure to the cork itself. In reality, this can cause the bottle to explode and disaster to ensue. Instead, twist the body of the bottle back and forth while holding the cork steady.
5. Watch the cork
Eventually, you will begin to feel the cork pull away from the bottle. When this starts to happen, gently press the top to prevent the cork from releasing too quickly, and let the cork slowly ease its way out thanks to pressure from below.
6. Listen for the sigh
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t want your booze exploding with a bang. Instead, experts suggest that the ideal sound to listen out for is a gentle sigh, as the cork slowly slides out. This will indicate that you’re in control of the bottle and that the liquid isn’t going to explode everywhere.
For anyone who’s ever had a nightmarish experience with a champagne bottle, opening one can be extremely traumatic. If you pay close attention to this guide, you should avoid any future mishaps. You're welcome.