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Dec 21, 2013 02:07 PM

Correct way to open a bottle of Champagne

From my restaurant days I had learned to turn to the cork and not the bottle in order to prevent agitating the Champagne and causing an explosion.

Online I am reading that one turns the bottle back and forth.

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  1. That's what the folks in Reims say.

    1. While some of us troopers still have a sabre ready to do the honors.

      4 Replies
      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

        too much carbonation let loose at once, AND glass shards in my bubbly?

        No, thanks.

        Looks impressive as hell, though.

        1. re: sunshine842

          NEVER any glass shards in the bottle. NEVER!

          (if you know how to do it!)

          1. re: sunshine842

            I love sabering, and I've never seen anything but a perfectly clean break.

            1. re: maria lorraine

              well, but did you see them practice? ;)

        2. On his shows, when Jacques Pepin demonstrates opening champagne bottles, he says to keep your thumb on the cork to keep it from shooting off, while turning the bottle. I can't imagine anyone with more authority on this subject.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            He likely has vastly more experience and skill than most mortals. For the rest of us, a towel is without question the safest way to go.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Newton's laws of motion are fairly simple and apply in this circumstance. Turning the cork or turning the bottle is the same as bodies at rest and in motion, laws 1 & 2.
              For a frisky champagne cork, at a minimum point it toward someone you don't like, and apologize for the accident, and it may be your best chance to blacken an eye with impunity.

              14 Replies
              1. re: Veggo

                I am sure you're only joking. but pointing at anyone is seriously dangerous - people have lost tan eye as a result of being hit with a Champagne cork.

                1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                  Of course I'm joking. I do like the festive sound of the 'pop', though.

                  1. re: Veggo


                    Thats what it should sound like, i.e. no louder than a nun's fart.

                    1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                      I am not Catholic, so cannot quite relate.


                  2. re: Gussie Finknottle

                    This is why airlines went to screwtop way before anyone else would have considered it.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      If you're talking Champagne - traditionally closed bottles are used on all the airlines I've been on.

                      Only screwcaps I've seen on Champagne are on the individual serving airline 187.5ml splits on shorthaul flights.

                      1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                        Perhaps it's changed back again. I had a convo with a flight attendant some years ago and he was telling me that.

                        And, re your above comment, it should be definitely a quiet sound. (I didn't know nuns were allowed to fart!)

                        1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                          Speaking about which:
                          In my last international trips, I noticed a BIG difference in quality btw the "champagne" served before departure, and the real thing they pull once in the air. Asked about to the flight attendants, they consistently said it's due to tax issues. Therefore, flyer beware: on land, Prosecco, at best.


                    2. re: Veggo

                      If the bottle is on a table, turning the bottle also adds friction from the table! Now, I always turn the cork and I grasp the cork with my palm covering it. This is perfectly safe and there is no way for the cork to fly away and blind someone.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        No, Veggo, not that simple. Turning the cork does that and nothing more. In contrast, turning the bottle drags the liquid at the glass-liquid interface. In addition, there are nucleation sites at the glass wall of the bottle which will produce bubbles. In fact, some champagne flutes and some champagne bottles are etched for that very purpose.
                        Rotating the bottle changes the concentration/pressure of CO2 in the liquid and in the gas above the liquid.

                        Think about this question: why does shaking a bottle of champagne increase the explosion of liquid?

                        Veggo, you are tasked with relearning Newton's laws.

                        1. re: hlockwood

                          Goodness! I have been assigned homework on Saturday night before Easter Sunday! There is no escape from the torment here!

                          1. re: Veggo

                            And remember to turn the bottle anticlockwise (Northern hemisphere only) or you will cancel out the Coriolis force! LOL

                              1. re: josephnl

                                Ya think? Did the LOL give you a clue?