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
- 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.
- 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.
- Holding the cork firmly in your hand, twist the bottom of the wine bottle while gently pulling the cork away from the bottle.
- 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.