How to Open Champagne Like a Pro: 7 Easy Steps

by Hunter Robillard

If you’ve been wondering how to open Champagne like an expert you’ve come to the right place!

You definitely don’t want the cork to fly and hit your guests. Neither do you want your precious bubbly to spill on the floor.

We’ll show you how to pop the cork of your Champagne bottle flawlessly, without an accident - like a Master Sommelier. We’ll also share some great tips to do it right each time, and the best bottles of Champagne to buy for your cellar.

Further reading

Why Should You Open Champagne Properly?


Opening a bottle of Champagne is the best way to ring in any celebration. But if it’s your first time opening a bubbly, it could be pretty challenging, especially if you’re trying to make a great impression on your dinner companions.  

Apart from getting to look like a wine expert, why else should you open a Champagne bottle properly? 

The other big reason is to prevent any Champagne cork accidents!

A Champagne bottle contains a certain amount of dissolved carbon dioxide which creates pressure in the bottle. Did you know that the bottle pressure is equivalent to three times the pressure of a car tire? This results in a cork flying speed of about 60 mph when the wine bottle is opened incorrectly. 

A flying Champagne cork can hit someone on the head, cause an eye injury, or damage valuable items. 

Let’s find out how to open Champagne elegantly in a few easy steps. 

A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Open Champagne

These steps will help you open any bottle of sparkling wine, be it Champagne, Cremant, Prosecco, Cava, or any other. 

You’ll need:

  • Your choice of sparkling wine or Champagne wine bottle 
  • A cloth napkin or small towel
  • A little arm action 

Step 1: Wipe Down The Champagne Bottle

Step 1.jpg

If your bottle of sparkling wine is coming right out of the fridge or ice bucket, wipe it down with your cloth napkin or kitchen towel. Wiping the cold bottle will allow you a better grip when it’s time to uncork.

Step 2: Loosen The Wire Cage And Cut The Foil


All Champagne bottles have a wire cage and foil wrapped around the bottle neck and over the cork. 

First, cut the foil wrapper of the bubbly bottle with a wine key, the edge of a corkscrew, or a knife and remove it. Go ahead and discard the foil.

Then, untwist the metal cage on the bottle to loosen it (six half-twists should do the trick), but don’t remove it just yet. The metal cage protects the Champagne cork and ensures the bottle doesn’t pop open until you’re ready. 

Step 3: Hold The Bottle Properly


Once the cage is removed, tilt the Champagne bottle at a 45 degree angle, using your dominant hand. The bottom of the bottle should lean against your stomach or hip. Make sure that the bottle neck points away from you and other guests.

We recommend angling the bottle at a 45 degree angle to make sure the flying cork doesn’t hit you, your dinner companions, or anything valuable. After all, the last thing you want is to deal with injuries before your celebrations even begin!

Step 4: Secure Your Non-Dominant Hand Over The Cork


Using your other hand, firmly grasp the cork with your palm and wrap your fingers around the neck of the bottle. Then, secure your thumb over the top of the cork.  You can put your dish towel over the top of the bottle for a firm grip and to reduce any friction.

Step 5: Twist The Bottle And Not The Cork

Step 5.jpg

Now that you’ve securely fastened both your hands over the base and the cork, it’s time to twist. 

Don’t try rotating the cork, because that’s not the right way to do it. Instead, you should turn the Champagne bottle while holding the cork and cage steady with your non-dominant hand. 

As you begin to rotate the base of the bottle, you should feel the cork starting to loosen up. 

Step 6: Open The Bottle


With a good grip on the cork, keep twisting until you hear a gentle fssszz or hissing sound as your Champagne opens. Remove the cage and cork.

Step 7: Wipe The Lip Of The Bottle And Serve!


When you open the Champagne bottle, a little bit of bubbly foam might spill out. If it does, just wipe the lip of the opened bottle with your towel and pour the wine into Champagne glasses.

Pour about 2.5cm of the bubbly into theglass and wait a few seconds until the Champagne bubbles reduce. Then finish pouring the wine, stopping just below the glass rim. 

Try not to touch the lip or spout of the bottle on the rim of the Champagne glasses (or a white wine glass.)

Opening Champagne properly can take a little bit of practice. To make it even easier for you, we’ve put together some more useful tips that should help.

4 More Tips For Opening A Bottle of Champagne

Here are a few things to bear in mind when opening Champagne:

1. Chill Your Bottle of Champagne


Aim to chill your Champagne at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7-8 degrees Celsius.) 

Why is this important? 

At room temperature, the carbon dioxide pressure in the bottle builds up, causing the cork to burst open quickly. A cold bottle of Champagne has less pressure and is less likely to burst due to the fizz of Champagne bubbles.

Here’s a quick way to keep your bottle chilled:

Grab an ice bucket and fill it half-way with water and the remaining half with ice. This mixture will cover more of the bottle surface, keeping your bubbly perfectly chilled. 

2. Use a Napkin For Better Control 


Draping a kitchen towel over the neck of the bottle will help you have better control over the cork as it inches out. The towel can also stop a flying Champagne cork and help with any spills.

3. Don’t Shake The Bottle


You want to minimize the spill when you open the Champagne bottle. So, don’t shake the bottle as you move it from the fridge (or ice bucket) to the table. Shaking it will cause a pressure build-up that can unleash the cork with force when you open the bottle.

If you accidentally shake the bottle, set it aside for about an hour so the carbon dioxide can settle into the liquid. The colder the bottle, the faster the CO2 will be absorbed.

4. Target to Hear A Sigh or a Whisper, Not A Noisy Pop


When opening Champagne, aim to open it with a barely audible sigh as the bubbles escape. A loud pop can be fun, but it’s not great Champagne etiquette.  Next, we’ll explore a couple of other fun ways to open Champagne.

2 Other Fun Ways To Open Champagne

If you’d like to add a little drama or put on a show, set the stage for these two methods:

1. Launch The Rocket


Keen to add a little fizzy shower to your New Year’s Eve party? 

Then, try this method. 

You let the Champagne cork rocket off instead of catching it in your palm or cloth napkin.

And of course, remember to aim away from the guests to avoid a champagne cork injury!

Here’s how you go about it:

  1. Remove the foil cap and the wire hood. 
  2. Next, grip the belly of the bottle with your dominant hand and place your other hand around the neck.
  3. Now you’re ready to launch! Grip your hand around the lower half of the cork to prevent it from flying out. As with the previous method, you need to rotate the bottle until you feel the cork pushing up. 
  4. As the cork comes out, let go! If it’s a little stuck, give it a stronger twist.
  5. Expect to see a flying cork shooting over people’s heads and the wine bursting out in a shower due to the bottle pressure.

2. Saber The Moment!


Sabering Champagne is a fun, albeit dangerous, way to open a bottle of bubbles, usually reserved for ceremonial occasions. This is also a bucket list item for many wine enthusiasts.

Usually, a Champagne saber or sword is the instrument of choice for sabering. However, if you can’t procure a Champagne saber, a large knife will do the trick. For this to work, you need to use the blunt end of the knife. 

Here’s how to do this safely:

  1. Remove the wrapping and wire hood of the sparkling wine.
  2. Tilt the bottle at about 20 degrees, holding it away from you.
  3. Find the seam around the wine bottle (all bottles have it). You will use this seam as a guide to help you saber the Champagne bottle with more precision.
  4. Grab your knife and place the blunt end along the seam. Then slide the knife swiftly in the direction of the bottle cork and strike it with force. It may take a few tries, so be patient.
  5. Once you’ve successfully sabered the wine, pour it directly into Champagne glasses. If done correctly, there should be no shards of glass. But if it makes you feel more comfortable, go ahead and strain the liquid from the opened bottle before having a drink.

Now you’re ready to flaunt your new skills at your next gathering! While you revel in your new skillset, try these prestigious sparkling wines at your next party. 

15 Great Champagnes To Buy For Your Next Big Celebration

Make a note of these decadent Champagnes to purchase the next time you’re celebrating a milestone.

  1. Moet & Chandon Esprit du Siecle Brut, Champagne, France: $6,870
  2. 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal 'Gold Medalion' Orfevres Limited Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne, France: $4,482
  3. 1988 Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut Rose, Champagne, France: $4,094
  4. 1975 Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut, Champagne, France: $14,839
  5. 1979 Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne, France: $45,380
  6. 1995 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne, France: $3,438
  7. 1988 Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut 'Spectre' James Bond 007 Edition, Champagne, France: $2,909
  8. 1959 Dom Perignon Oenotheque Brut Millesime, Champagne, France: $4,775
  9. 1995 Boerl & Kroff Brut Millesime, Champagne, France: $3,727
  10. 1995 Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut Rose Millesime, Champagne, France: $2,251
  11. 1964 Krug Private Cuvee, Champagne, France: $2,255
  12. 1988 Dom Perignon Oenotheque Rose, Champagne, France: $2,999
  13. 1979 Krug Collection Brut, Champagne, France: $3,542
  14. 1993 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut Rose, Champagne, France: $1,439
  15. 1996 Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne, France: $1,425

So how can you easily buy and store these incredibly sought-after wines? 

That’s where an online wine investing platform like Vinovest comes in.

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Uncork A Champagne Bottle and Raise a Glass!

Opening a bottle of Champagne is an exciting skill to add to your arsenal. The more practice you have, the better you become.

And, if you want a bottle of true Champagne like Krug or Dom Perignon for your next special occasion you can find some of the finest vintages through Vinovest.

All you need to do is sign up and start building your wine collection! 

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