Nothing says “Happy New Year” like the sound of a cork popping from a Champagne bottle.
Movies and TV have helped perpetuate the myth that opening a bottle of Champagne means the cork flies heavenward like a missile with the precious wine spilling out of the bottle like a fountain.
Wrong. That’s just a waste of good (and usually expensive) Champagne!
If you plan to welcome the New Year with a glass of Champagne (or sparkling wine), make sure you know how to open the bottle so you don’t spill a drop!
Here’s how to chill and properly open a bottle of Champagne:
1. Chill the sealed bottle in a bucket of ice and water for 30 to 45-minutes before you’re ready to open and serve it. If you have more time, refrigerate it for 2 to 3 hours. The folks at Dom Perignon recommend serving the Champagne at about 54°F.
2. To open the bottle, keep the palm of your hand flat over the top of the bottle and remove the foil and wire cage.
3. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from you (and your otherwise terrified guests) and press your palm flat on the cork.
4. With your hand on the bottleneck, twist the bottle, NOT THE CORK, until the cork starts to loosen.
5. Gently ease the cork from the bottle. The cork should come out with a sigh not a bang! Serve the wine in tall and narrow flutes or the old-school, wider shaped coupes (like the two in the photo).
And, while you’re sipping your Champagne, ask your guests: How many bubbles are contained in average bottle of Champagne? The answer? Forty-nine million!
Have a safe and happy New Year celebration!
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