You often see people popping champagne bottles in movies and during celebrations. Have you ever wondered why champagne makes “pop” sound when opened? In actual fact, opening champagne should be elegant and demure. Not loud and abrasive with a loud pop!
If you find yourself drinking lots of champagne, it is indeed better to possess the skill and knowledge of opening a bottle. Bubbly is precious! You don’t want to waste a single drop accidentally spilling it everywhere.
When to Open Champagne
With its elegant packaging and expensive price tag, champagne is often considered as the main drink to open during special occasions, and very often to celebrate something that is worthy. People often receive champagne as gifts and special dates that mark a person’s life journey is worth a celebration that calls for champagne.
Occasions stated below are the perfect times to open a champagne bottle but of course, you can totally open it just to celebrate the fact that you’re alive!
Buying or Selling a Home
Owning a property or a place to call home is something many people aspire to do. It is no small feat for most people and should be marked as a celebration. Signing the papers goes hand in hand with champagne as the mood is usually celebratory.
Some will see it as a toast to the future, where they shall further prosper after that night.
Selling off a property is also one of the finest moments where champagne is required, as it is something worth celebrating especially when it has been quite some time in the market without any noise or sales.
Champagne is also a great addition to weddings and is considered as an essential item to some. It is only natural to open a bottle of champagne when the mood is just right, especially with so many friends and family celebrating the unforgettable night altogether, allowing the champagne to serve its purpose.
Step by Step Guide to Opening Champagne
As mentioned earlier, there are certain techniques on how to open a champagne bottle if the process is to be enjoyable and exciting. Do it the wrong way and something unexpected might happen. The champagne cork might accidentally burst your television screen or your family members may end up being knocked on the head by the flying cork.
There are certain precautions that require attention which are the basics when you are opening a bottle of champagne.
Ensuring the safety of others around you is always the top priority. As champagne is corked with pressure during the production process, the corks will serve as a projectile if you are not careful and it might cause harm to someone when the bottle is pointed directly at a person with a pop.
If you want the champagne to pop, just for the sake and novelty of it, point in a direction that does not have anyone or an empty area with no breakable items.
Here, is a step by step guide to opening champagne bottles the proper way:-
Step 1 : Cutting and Removing the Foil
Each bottle of champagne always comes wrapped in foil. To remove it, prepare a wine key that comes with a serrated blade, and carefully cut through the foil. After the foil is completely removed, take a piece of cloth or a towel and cover it over the top of the bottle, placing your hand over it and your thumb firmly on the champagne bottle cork.
Step 2: Open the Bottle
After preparations are complete, carefully untwist the metal cage and rotate the bottle, not the cork itself. With the hand that is covered on top of the bottle, slowly shift the cork out of place, and through controlling the pace of the removing the cork, it allows gas to escape from inside of the champagne.
Step 3: Serve your readily open Champagne
The cork will likely fall gradually into your hands and if it bursts out, the cloth covering it and the hand that is placed on top of it controls the cork. It won’t go all over the place. Just remove the cork and shift the metal cage off to the side, and voila, your champagne is ready to serve. When pouring, do it slowly to avoid overflow or you will waste precious drops.
A few extra tips from our sommeliers when it comes to opening champagne bottles:
- If you come across a bottle of champagne that is rather stubborn and stuck, just run the neck of the said bottle under warm water for three to five minutes. The sudden heat will agitate the carbonation and push the cork out faster.
- Ensure the bottle is dried after chilling so that it does not slip out of your hands
Is Champagne Supposed to Pop?
On certain occasions, you might find the “pop” sound when someone opens a bottle of champagne to be fairly amusing and unexpectedly soothing. However, even though it seems like champagnes are meant to pop like that when opened, it is actually not a recommended option and is likely to degrade the taste of the exquisite champagne.
If you dine at high-end restaurants, you will notice that waiters who open the bottle for you at your table do not use the champagne popping method. You might think that this is because they are not keen on hurting someone in the process or to maintain the elegance of the restaurant. The pop is actually unnecessary.
Professionals will know that a “hiss” sound is way better than a “pop” sound coming from the opening of the champagne bottle, as it is known to be a function of temperature. A “pop” sound means that the champagne is more pressurised from the inside, which will make it warmer; while a “hiss” sound shows that it is at the ideal temperature at approximately 10 degrees which preserves the best serving taste once opened.
Although popping champagne is highly entertaining, it takes a toll on the taste because more bubbles make it taste better. The popping process will waste large amounts of champagne with the foam slowly slithering away in front of you. It does, however, give a party a celebratory mood.
Mistakes When Opening Champagne
If you don’t have much experience in opening champagnes, there is a high probability of you breaking something or getting into a minor accident.
Some common mistakes include:-
Not tilting at a 45 degree angle
While opening the bottle, it should be tilted at a 45 degree angle to ensure the safety of your surroundings. This angle should be used while pouring as well.
The reason behind this particular action is that it reduces the loss of carbon dioxide gasses, which guarantees fizzy champagne with most of the foam and gas remaining inside of the bottle itself.
If you pour the wine into the bottle at a 90 degree angle, a thick layer of bubbles will gather around the glass, disrupting the process of the steady stream of bubbles.
Thumb not on the cork
One of the most common mistakes is a person holding the champagne bottle not keeping their thumb over the cork. This action is actually done to prevent the cork from shooting out of the bottle, thus avoiding any unnecessary damages or harm caused to others.
The high velocity of the flying cork can cause serious injuries upon contact and will even crack and break your windows if you are not careful.
Not attending to a partially opened bottle of champagne
When you open a bottle of champagne, the worst thing that could happen is if you leave it out in the open without completely opening the cage.
Some people might think that it is perfectly fine because the metal cage is still wrapped around the mouth, but this is extremely dangerous as the pressure will start to accumulate inside the bottle, which turns it into a ticking time bomb.
A simple bump is enough to send the cork flying uncontrollably which will cause some serious damage.
Not chilling the champagne long enough
Champagne should always be chilled before opening and serving. Unless you enjoy warm and flat champagne, the bottle should be at a 47 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit temperature as it is likely to have fizzier bubbles.
However, you should never, ever, put a champagne bottle in the freezer as it can explode.
A good bottle of champagne should be prepared to match different occasions in our lives with a ceremonious touch to it. There are several tips and tricks to opening champagne and it should be done with finesse, not clumsy hands. With so much time and effort poured into creating the perfect champagne, it is only justifiable that it is treated with care and professionalism to get the perfect taste that it was meant to provide.