How to Open Champagne

Pouring some bubbly champagne is a great way to help your customers and guests celebrate momentous occasions. But how do you open a bottle of champagne without sending the cork flying and the contents pouring out? Though it provides an eye-catching effect, it is not the proper way to open bottles of champagne and other sparkling wines. A popped champagne cork can fly out of a bottle with a pressure of around 90 PSI and can be quite dangerous. Follow our step-by-step guide to open champagne safely. If you’re looking to really wow your guests, try this champagne sabering technique instead.

How to Open a Champagne Bottle

Use the following champagne opening video to learn how to do the process properly:

Champagne Supplies

Champagne cork exploding off the bottle

To practice fine dining etiquette and pop champagne without it exploding, you’ll need the following items:

  • A foil cutter
  • A dish towel
  • A wine bucket
  • Sparkling wine

1. Chill the Champagne

Sparkling wines like champagne should be chilled to 45 degrees Fahrenheit before they are opened. This reduces the pressure in the bottle and prevents the geyser effect when the cork is released. You can chill your champagne in a wine refrigerator or use a wine bucket with ice and water. Try not to jostle the bottle too much before opening it to prevent the pressure from building. Make sure the bottle is dry before you start to open it to keep it from spilling out of your hands.

2. Cut the Foil

Use a foil cutter or wine key to cut the foil off the top of your champagne bottle. This will expose the wine cage and cork. Many sparkling wine bottles feature a pull tab to remove the foil, but a foil cutter trims a smooth, clean line around the top which creates a more professional and visually appealing presentation for your guests.

3. Remove the Cork Cage

Lift and twist the tab of the cork cage to loosen it from over the top of the bottle. This will usually require about 6 counter-clockwise turns. You may start to feel the cork pushing upward so it’s good to keep a thumb over the top of the bottle as you work. The cage can either be removed at this time or loosely held over the cork to provide an extra layer of protection to keep the cork from flying.

4. Cover the Cork with a Towel

Place a dish towel or cloth napkin over the top of the bottle to provide an extra safety precaution to catch a flying cork. This is a particularly good idea if you have removed the cork cage from the top of the bottle.

5. Angle the Bottle and Rotate

Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle pointing away from your body. This angle ensures that the pressure in the bottle hits the rounded curve of the glass which keeps it from pushing the liquid out. Be sure that there isn’t anything in front of you that could potentially be hit if the cork flies from the bottle. Rotate the bottle from the base while holding the cork steady between your fingers. Do not rotate the cork itself or it can break in the opening of the bottle.

6. Remove the Cork

As you twist the bottle, you’ll feel the cork loosen and push upward. Slowly guide the cork out until you hear a fizzing whisper of the pressure releasing instead of a pop. This will keep the champagne from flowing out of the bottle. Once the cork is removed, you are ready to serve drinks for a toast!

How to Pour Champagne

Champagne being poured into a glass

If you pour champagne directly down into a champagne flute, you’ll soon find a rush of bubbles overflowing the top of the glass. Following these champagne-pouring steps to fill glasses without a mess.

  1. Hold the champagne glass at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Rest the bottle at the rim of the glass.
  3. Pour slowly so the sparkling wine flows down the side of the glass.
  4. Pause to let the bubbles settle when necessary.
  5. Serve!

Champagne Opening FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to opening a bottle of champagne:

Champagne being poured into a glass in a room full of people

Can You Reseal Champagne?

A bottle of champagne cannot be resealed like wine. The cork of a champagne bottle is flared with a wider base to help keep it in the bottle against the pressure inside. It expands after it is inserted during the bottling process when the sparkling wine is pressurized. For that reason, the original cork would no longer fit in the opening once popped. You can get specialized champagne stoppers that have hooks that grip onto the edge of the bottle and keep the pressure from popping it out of place.

Is All Sparkling Wine Champagne?

Not all sparkling wine is champagne. Like DOP-labeled products, only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France can be officially labeled as champagne. Sparkling wines like Prosecco are often used interchangeably with champagne but are sold at a lower price point since they do not feature the French Champagne certification.

What Is the Wire Cage around a Champagne Cork Called?

The metal cap or wire cage is called a “muselet”, the French word for a muzzle. It is added at the end of the bottling process to keep the corks of sparkling wines in place during shipping and storage. Without the muselet, the champagne cork would go flying out during any shift in pressure. A champagne cork cage should not be removed until you are ready to open and serve your sparkling wines.

Make your restaurant or catering hall a destination for celebrations by training your servers how to open a bottle of champagne properly. With the champagne flowing, your customers are sure to be back for more special occasions.

Posted in: Bars & Breweries|Holidays|By Janine Jones
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.
External Link

You are about to leave the security of

We are not responsible for the privacy policy or any content, links or software, or any consequences from your access to or use of the technologies, websites, information and programs made available on this new site.

Do you want to proceed?

Webstaurant TVProduct demonstrations, how-to's, & descriptions ArticlesIn-depth information and tips for running a successful restaurant Buying GuidesTools to help you find the perfect product for your business