POP, BOOM, BANG! Sounds like fireworks. Absolutely, but these are also the sounds that come from an exploding champagne cork.
Fireworks and champagne are the perfect July 4th celebratory combination…but you’ve got to be careful when handling both. We leave fireworks to the professionals, but any amateur can master the opening of a bottle of bubbly.
It’s no wonder that champagne can be dangerous! A bottle of sparkling wine is under 90 pounds of pressure per square inch, which is three times the pressure inside a typical car tire. And a cork can fly up to 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle.
Here are our tips for the safest and smartest way to open your bottle:
- Make sure the champagne is chilled to at least 45 degrees before opening. A warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly. (Besides, chilled bubbly tastes better.)
- Don’t shake the bottle. (You’re not in a locker room.) Shaking increases pressure on the cork.
- Stand the bottle on a counter or hard surface.
- Remove the foil wrapping.
- Get a towel or napkin and put it over the cork and untwist the wire cage. (A bit of trivia: it takes exactly six twists.)
- Keep the towel on top of the cork with one hand and put your other hand on the bottle at a point where you have a good grasp.
- Turn the bottle, not the cork. You should feel the cork loosen.
- Keep a downward pressure on the cork as it completely loosens and finally releases.
- The sounds you hear should be barely audible – like a soft kiss.
- Pour and enjoy.
Wishing you and your family a safe, joyous Independence Day celebration.
Barbara and Beverly