Whether it is about toasting a milestone, preparing a scrumptious feast, or sipping tranquility after a busy day, a bottle of champagne is the perfect kickstarter. And in this enchanting tale of festivities, popping the cork is the way to get started.

But popping champagne is not a piece of cake; blunders await, with either the cork getting stuck or you squandering your beloved bubbly in a shower of frosty bubbles. And on a doomsday toast, it can turn even worse: the cork or the whole bottle veering perilously towards a loved one.

So to avoid any blunder and keep you well-prepared in all scenarios, we bring you this guide. This guide offers detailed, step-by-step instructions, guiding you on how to pop a champagne bottle easily, neatly, and safely, as well as broadly covering how to open sparkling wine bottles.

Step 1: Chill The Champagne Bottle

right way to open champagne

Similar to a finger-kissed meal, the poppage of a bubbly calls for a room of preparation. Therefore, before you open a bottle of champagne, make sure it is chilled, either with a bath in an ice bucket, refrigeration, or a brief freeze for 15-20 minutes.

It is imperative for two reasons:

  • First, serve the champagne at an ideal temperature of about 45°F (7.2 degrees Celsius), enhancing the overall taste and effervescence.
  • Secondly, the chilling will scientifically reduce the agitated pressure buildup inside the bottle, which might cause the cork to pop uncontrollably or become stuck.

Yet, tread cautiously to not over-chill the bubbly, whether you have used an ice bucket or refrigeration. Over-chilling will faint the flavors, aromas, and effervescence of your champagne, making the overall drinking experience less enjoyable and less vibrant.

Step 2: Dry Off The Bottle

right way to open champagne

Once your bubbly is nicely chilled and ready to be poured out for a momentous celebration, it is crucial to ensure that the bottle’s exterior is dry and free from any condensed moisture dripping down.

Now, this can seem unnecessary, but this minor detail can help you hold the bottle firmly in the opening process, preventing any chance of accidental slippage or breakage.

To dry it properly, use a clean and dry cloth or paper towel and gently wipe down the entire surface of the bottle of sparkling wine, including the neck, shoulder, and cork area.

Interestingly, in the right way to open champagne, many folks prefer wrapping the bottle with a towel to form a steady hold thoroughly.

Step 3: Remove The Foil

Remove The Foil to open champagne bottle

At this step, the curtain of champagne-popping rises and the real star is unveiled—the cork!

But prior to that mesmerizing moment, it is essential to gracefully remove the foil that shrouds the neck and the cork of the champagne bottle in order to keep the cork in place and enhance the bottle’s appearance.

To correctly remove the foil, first place the bottle upright on a steady base to avoid any mishandling. After that, locate the tab, unfurl it, and peel off the foil covering the top of the bottle, uncovering the cork and cage beneath.

However, not all foil coverings in champagne bottles come with tabs, and in that case, you can choose to remove the foil with the help of a foil cutter, knife, blade, or cautiously hand peeling.

Step 4: Loosen The Cage and Don’t Remove It!

 Loosen The Cage and Don’t Remove It from champagne bottle

After the foil is removed, the stakes get higher.

At this step, your attention turns to the wire cage (also muselet), which acts as a protective wire setup, safeguarding the champagne cork. Although this wire cage might seem overawing, it is a test of your skill on how to open a champagne bottle.

Hold the bottle firmly at its base with one hand while using the other hand to put pressure on the cork and cage area around the bottle’s neck. While maintaining gentle pressure on both the cork and cage, slowly untwist the wire loop at the end of the cage, usually requiring 6 half-turns. This will allow you to lift the wire cage upward, detaching it from the cork.

Remember to loosen the cage without removing it entirely. The immense pressure inside the bottle could unexpectedly propel the cork with force on a potentially dangerous trajectory. With the cage comfortably resting on top of the cork, you will open a bottle of sparkling wine with remarkable neatness and safety.

Step 5: Hold The Bottle At a 45° Angle

hold the champagne bottle

After successfully loosening the cage, ensure that you continue to hold the bottle at both ends to prevent the cork from bursting out.

Position the bottle at a 45 degree angle. This angle will help alleviate the pressure inside the bottle, counteracting the force exerted by the escaping gas against the upper shoulder of the glass.

This recommended position serves to prevent the cork from shooting out ferociously, thereby avoiding any potential harm or mess.

Step 6: Twist The Bottle, Not The Cork

twist the bottle not the cork

With the bottle firmly held at a 45 degree angle, it is time to discover how to open a champagne cork gracefully.

Instead of twisting, pushing the cork upwards, or vigorously shaking the bottle—actions that could unexpectedly eject the cork—gently rotate the bottle with one hand while the other hand puts pressure on the cork area.

As you continue to twist the bottle, not the cork, you will feel the cork showing a slight resistance due to the pressure build-up inside. After a few turns, the cork will gently release from the bottle with a satisfying ‘pop’ sound, stirring the air with party vibes.

Now that you have removed the cork and the bottle of bubbly is open and ready to be enjoyed, you can savor the moment. Gently fill the champagne glasses from the bottle and raise a toast to your celebration!

how to open champagne bottle

How To Open And Shake Champagne

Whether it's grand festivities or casual celebrations, party peeps never shy away from flaunting their champagne's effervescence with the shake-and-open tactic. However, in the tale of how to open and shake champagne, should this method be recommended in the first place? Straightforwardly, No.

It is not advisable to open and shake champagne, as vigorous shaking triggers pressure buildup within, leading to nothing but blunders. In instances of excessive shaking, the intense pressure can cause your bottle of bubbly to uncontrollably spill out, with bubbles rapidly escaping, or, even worse, it can result in your champagne cork getting stuck.

How To Serve Champagne Gracefully

Once you have learned the right way to open champagne, it is time to pour and indulge in those effervescent bubbles.

To serve champagne correctly, begin by gently holding the bottle at its base and aiming the opening of the bottle towards the middle of the glass, preferably a chic flute or tulip-shaped one. While pouring the bubbly, be very gentle, as any vigor there will lead to excessive foam and a rapid loss of bubbles.

Fill the glass to about ⅔ full, leaving enough room for delicate aromas and the perlage to shine through. Sip your champagne in moderation and relish the intricate layers of flavors and textures as they mingle on your palate. Even better, serve champagne with a hearty meal pairing for a more satiating drinking experience.

How To Store Opened Champagne

In comparison to wine bottles, champagne is a delicate drink and has a shorter shelf life once opened. So once you open a bottle, we recommend finishing it, but in case you have leftover bubbly, you can preserve its freshness for up to 1-3 days.

To store opened champagne bottle, follow these steps:

Step 1: Seal the opening of the champagne bottle with a champagne stopper, one of the tight-fit wine bottles’ stoppers, or plastic wrap. This is crucial to minimize the loss of carbonation (bubbles) and to prevent oxidation caused by air entering the bottle.

Step 2: Refrigerate the bottle of sparkling wine, as low temperatures help retain the bubbles and overall quality of the champagne.

Step 3: Enjoy it soon after opening, as a bottle of champagne begins to lose its flavors and aromas, causing the overall experience to turn flat.

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