How to Open Champagne Like a Pro

Learn how to pop bottles safely and easily

pouring champagne

The Spruce 

Whether you're at a bachelor or bachelorette party, a boozy brunch, or celebrating during the holidays, you can bet that bottles of champagne are involved. If being the person to actually pop bottles has never been your "thing," you're probably not alone. A champagne cork can fly out of the bottle at a speed of up to 25 miles per hour, which is scary fast and actually potentially dangerous: a study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology found that 26 percent of injuries sustained from champagne corks resulted in legal blindness. With these risks in mind, it's easy to feel intimidated.

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How to Open Champagne Like a Boss

The Spruce has you covered with the easiest and safest way to open a bottle of champagne. Our method involves just yourself, the bottle of champagne, and a towel. Bonus: We'll even show you how to achieve the perfect pour. Soon enough, you'll be the life of every party.

Essential Tips

Before you become a bottle-poppin' master, we have a few tips that will help you achieve the best results.

Chill the bottle: Before you start, you'll want to ensure that your bottle of champagne has chilled for at least an hour, though a few hours or overnight is ideal. The reasoning behind this (other than the fact that champagne tastes great when it's chilled) is that the colder the bottle is, the less pressure is on the cork as it comes out, which means you'll have a less aggressive "pop!" Also, cold champagne allows the bubbles to stay intact when you pour, which yields a less fizzy pour.

Angle the bottle away from your body: If you're wondering how people get injured when opening a champagne bottle, one of the major factors could be the way the bottle is angled. You never want to angle a bottle toward your body, anyone else, or anything breakable (including windows, artwork, and electronics, to name a few).

Have clean-up products nearby: Sometimes, champagne makes a mess. It's best to prepare for a spill by keeping paper towels or a dish towel near you.

What You'll Need

  • Foil cutter
  • Bottle of chilled champagne
  • Kitchen towel
champagne materials
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Instructions

  1. Prep Your Bottle

    champagne chilling in an ice bucket
    The Spruce

    If your bottle of champagne has been sitting in an ice bucket, make sure to dry the outside of the champagne bottle. The last thing you want to do is to be handling a wet and slippery champagne bottle as you're trying to uncork it.

  2. Remove the Foil From the Bottle

    cutting the foil
    The Spruce

    Using a foil cutter, remove the foil from the bottle. If the foil has a pull tab, even better.

  3. Remove the Cage

    removing the champagne bottle cage
    The Spruce

    Hold the top of the cage with one hand as you untwist it with the other. You're doing this in case the cork happens to come loose as you remove the cage (which is there to help keep the cork in its place).

  4. Position Your Hands and the Towel Properly

    turning bottle of champagne
    The Spruce

    Place the towel over the cork. With one hand, hold the bottom of the bottle, as if you're cradling it, and keep it at a 45-degree angle facing away from you. With the other hand, grab the cork firmly through the towel (so that the towel is between your hand and the cork).

  5. Twist the Bottle

    champagne bottle twist
    The Spruce

    Here's the real trick of this technique: one hand will hold the cork steady while the other hand twists the bottle. If you twist the cork instead, it can actually build up more pressure than if you twisted the bottle, and you could also damage the cork.

    Slowly twist the bottle in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion (it doesn't matter). As you turn the bottle, you will feel the cork slowly withdraw from the bottle. This technique offers more control than other methods, because you can always turn slower if you think the cork is coming out too fast. Also, keep in mind that your hand is still holding the cork down, and at such a slow turning speed, the cork isn't going to fly out.

    Eventually, you'll get a subtle "pop." Remove your hand, cork, and towel from the bottle, and marvel at how clean and simple that process just was! If you do it right, you won't have a single spill.

Achieving the Perfect Pour

pouring champagne
The Spruce

Now that you've mastered opening the bottle, why not master the pour? Because champagne is so bubbly, pouring can be cumbersome, but not if you know the perfect technique. In three steps, you'll have poured perfect non-foamy glasses of champagne.

Tip

When pouring champagne, make sure that you slightly tilt your flute toward you, and pour the bubbly so it hits the wall of the glass. You'll get your cleanest pour this way.

Instructions

  1. "Wet" the Glass

    Instead of attempting to pour a glass-full, simply pour an inch of champagne in first.

    wetting the glass
     The Spruce
  2. Let the Foam Dissipate

    Wait a few seconds to allow the foam to dissipate. If you try to pour quickly, you'll just end up with more fizz!

    pouring the rest of the glass
     The Spruce
  3. Finish Pouring

    After the excess bubbles have disappeared, pour the rest of the champagne about two-thirds of the way up the glass, making sure to keep the glass angled and slowly turn the champagne bottle as you pour (which will keep the foam to a minimum).

    pouring champagne for guests
     The Spruce