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How to Uncork a Bottle of Champagne

Written by Max, Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 in Alcohol Culture, Culture

Improperly uncorking a bottle of champagne can ruin a New Year’s Eve Party.  Nobody wants to be the guy that gives his date a black eye by virtue of a vintage cork.  Follow these tips for uncorking champagne, and you will be able to avoid bubbly trouble while ringing in the New Year in dignified style.

1) Make sure the champagne is cold


Most people realize that champagne should be served cold.  But, what is the best way to chill your bottle of bubbly?  We suggest placing the bottle in the refrigerator for at least three hours or for at least a half hour in a 50/50 ice-water bath, fully submerged.  Never place your champagne in the freezer, as it could explode haphazardly.

2) Remove the wire cage


First, use a towel to dry the bottle off, so it will not slip from your grasp.  Next, undo the foil around the top of the bottle.  Once the foil is gone, slowly untwist and remove the wire cage secured around the cork.  Make sure you have a firm grasp on the bottle with your other hand while you remove the cage.

3) Pop the cork – carefully

What not to do.

What not to do.

Now, the most important part.  If you do this step properly, it will NOT look like a super bowl locker room celebration or NASCAR post-race jubilation.  First, drape a kitchen towel around the top of the champagne bottle.  Hold the bottle firmly at a forty-five degree angle.  With a tight grip on the cork, slowly rotate the bottle – not the cork.  Gradually, the cork will come free.  Resist the urge to just pull it out with a loud pop; this often causes spillage and decarbonates a good deal of the champagne.  Instead, the cork should come free with a softer pop and a small escape of gas.

4) Pour and Enjoy


Serve champagne in champagne flutes preferably.  First, fill each glass roughly one-third of the way.  Once this is accomplished and the foam has receded, continue to fill each flute roughly two-thirds of the way full.  We won’t tell you how to enjoy your champagne.  But, please hold your flutes by the stem as not to unnecessarily warm the bubbly.

We hope these instructions will make your New Year’s Eve that much more enjoyable.  Now party, uncork, drink and be merry.  Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve from all of us at Wellcultured.

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