How to Open a Bottle of Champagne Without Taking Someone's Eye Out

I had to open dozens of bottles of bubbly at a wedding. I've learned a few tricks.

Published Dec. 26, 2022.

I worked as a bartender at a wedding this past fall. Part of my duties was to help my bartending colleagues with a grand statement requested by the bride and groom: pop 40 bottles of Dom Perignon when they entered the tent. 

I was terrified. Each bottle cost $200, and I had nightmares of accidentally letting a cork loose and giving some prominent VIP a black eye. 

Thankfully, I learned some tricks from colleagues that made popping those expensive bottles of bubbly easy (unfortunately, it did not involve a long saber—though we can also show you how to saber a bottle of champagne).

Dom Perignon or not, here’s how to open that bottle of bubbly you’re saving for New Year’s Eve, or any special occasion.

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How to Open a Bottle of Champagne

  1. Remove the foil. Grip the bottle so your dominant hand is holding the corkside and your other hand is holding the bottom of the bottle. Face the cork-side away from people (as well as your own face) just in case there’s been a lot of pressure build up and that cork goes flying. Loosen the cage, keeping your hand on the cork.
  2. Ensure your thumb is on top of the cork and tilt the bottle to a 45-degree angle. With your other hand, grip the divot at the bottom of the bottle with your thumb inside it and hand on the outside of the bottle. 
  3. Holding the cork firmly in your hand, twist the bottom of the wine bottle while gently pulling the cork away from the bottle. 
  4. After a few rounds of twisting and pulling, the cork should easily come out with a satisfying pop. Continue to hold bottle at an angle until foaming subsides.

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