How to Open a Bottle of Champagne the Right Way

Let Le Diplomate's sommelier show you what you've been doing wrong.
Erik Segelbaum. Photograph and video by Youmna Al-Gailey.

A Champagne bottle is “a loaded gun,” says Erik Segelbaum, beverage manager and Advanced Sommelier at DC’s Le Diplomate. Here’s how to open your bubbly properly.

  • Don’t use the tab: You don’t “get a clean open” by opening a bottle like a package of gum. Segelbaum prefers using the knife on a corkscrew to make three cuts: one around the base of the neck to the back, another around the base of neck to the front, and a last one straight up the neck to make a “nice clean capsule.”
  • Keep your thumb on the top: With your thumb firmly on the top of the metal “cage” and the bottle at a 45-degree angle, untwist the wire.
  • No popping!: The cage will give you a great grip on the cork. With your bottom hand, gently twist the bottle, easing back on the pressure of cork until you hear a “nice, gentle sigh of happiness.”

SEE ALSO: How to Pour Champagne the Right Way

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