For a lot of people this year has been one to forget rather than celebrate, but that won’t stop many of us from popping a few champagne corks on New Year’s Eve as we welcome 2017 and raise a glass to the fact that we have seen the last of 2016!
However, if you have ever sent a champagne cork unexpectedly flying across the room or showered your friends or family with bubbly like a Formula One winner, you may need a few tips on how to open your bottle of fizz!
1. Always Use A Towel Or Napkin To Cover The Cork
- You may have noticed how wine waiters in restaurants cover the cork with a cloth napkin when they open a bottle of champagne – this is to stop the cork from flying out of the bottle and hitting someone or something!
Do the same by securing your cloth to the neck of the bottle as you ease the cork out. The cloth will not only catch the cork should it pop from the bottle, but will also offer you a better grip.
- 2. Leave The Cage On
- Bottles of champagne invariably have a metal cage covering the cork. This is to stop the cork from accidentally popping out as the bubbles in the drink push upwards. Taking this cage off before you open the bottle is a pretty common sight, but wine experts say this is wrong (not to mention potentially dangerous!). Instead, just loosen the cage by giving the cage’s key a few turns to loosen it but leave it in place as you take the cork from the bottle.
- 3. 45 Degrees!
- Keep your bottle tilted at a 45 degree angle as you open it, this will stop you from accidentally spilling any as you open your champagne.
- 4. Twist The Bottle!
- Sommeliers also say that you should twist the bottle to remove the cork – not the other way around! Twisting the cork can cause it to break inside the bottle, but you need to be careful!
As you feel the cork loosen apply extra pressure to it so that it doesn’t fly from the bottle. The slower and more controlled you are the quieter the ‘pop’ of the cork will be. In fact, experts say that you shouldn’t really hear a popping noise at all, but should instead aim for a quiet hissing noise as the pressure of the cork is slowly released.
- 5. Forget The Flutes
- When it comes to serving your champagne it is best to forget the champagne flutes and instead go for a normal wine glass. While the narrow shape of a flute will keep the bubbles for longer, the taste is actually better from a wider wine glass as it allows you to swirl the champagne around in the glass and better enjoy the scent of the bubbly.
So, this year, rather than risking injured friends or broken windows, welcome 2017 in style!
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