What’s The Correct Way To Open A Bottle Of Champagne?

21st July 2020

Correct way to open Champagne bottle

You’ve got your chilled bottle of Champagne sitting there on the table and you’re wondering if there’s a certain way you need to open it, how awesome would it be if you could open the bottle in a professional, cool and safe way, in front of your friends or that special someone.

There are 3 common ways to open a bottle of Champagne, The Whisper, The Rocket and The Execution, all three will require the bottle to be chilled, allow me to explain them to you.

The Whisper

This technique will allow you to open a bottle of Champagne in a controlled way, minimising any splash damage, and will show anyone with a keen eye, that you know how to open a bottle of Champagne professionally.

Opening The Champagne Bottle

1) First things first, remove the wrapping, it’s easier to keep the bottle on the table until you are ready to remove the cork, but it can be done while holding it.

2) Place your dominant hand around the cork and the neck of the bottle, having two fingers and your thumb around the Cork and 2 fingers around the bottle’s neck.

3) Fully untwist the metal cage with your other hand, you can choose to remove the cage, but sometimes you aren’t given that choice, it’s safer to keep the cage on in this technique, it’s when you let the Cork fly that you want to take it off.

4) Whether you place the bottle on the table or hold it in your hands, place your less dominant hand around the belly of the bottle or the base, if you’ve just taken the bottle out of an ice bucket make sure you dry it first and if you are still not confident that you have a firm grip, place the bottle on the table, don’t hold it up.

5) Now, slightly tilt the bottle in the direction of your more dominant hand then slowly twist the bottle with your other hand, your hand around the Cork should have full control over both the cork and bottle, sometimes you’ll have to put some of your strength into opening the bottle, by either twisting the bottle and slightly pulling down or having to push the Cork against the escaping carbon dioxide, you should hear a small Whisper or hissing sound and the bottle is opened, meaning you have completed your professional Whisper open.

The Rocket  

This is the fun, party method, letting the Cork fly and if you’re lucky or unlucky, depending on how you see it, you might get an explosion of Champagne following the corks projectory.

After recently watching the successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket with two American astronauts to the International Space Station, who doesn’t want to let a Cork fly, so let me tell you how to best do it.

1) You’ll first have to remove the wrapping.

2) From this point you need to prepare for launch, put your strongest hand around the belly of the bottle and make sure you point the bottle in the firing range, you don’t want to accidentally crack a window.

3) With a firm grip around the bottle with one hand, use the other to remove the metal cage, untwist and try and not knock the Cork when removing the cage, after the cage is removed, you rocket is prepped for launch, the Cork could easily fly off while you are removing the cage, so always be careful, if your Cork isn’t ready to fly on its own, you’re going to need to give it a little nudge.

4) Don’t place your hand over the Cork, just grip the lower half of the cork, so when you feel it going you can quickly let go/bring your hand down around the neck of the bottle, just slightly rotate the bottle in either direction until you can feel the Cork going.

5) Sometimes the Cork can really be stuck in there, so just give it a bigger twist, just always keep the Cork pointed away from people, you might be wanting to see how powerful the blast is.

Then, 3,2,1, Go For Launch.

The Execution

Sabering a bottle of Champagne, a life goal for many people, and so it should be.

This method is the most dangerous, but also rather fun, so the way I’m about to tell you is the safest way of executing this technique without having to kit yourself out with full body armour.

1) Remove the wrapping around the Cork and the neck of the bottle.

2) Hold the bottle at an angle, not directly at 90 degrees, just a little bit up from there, like in the picture above.

3) Make sure that no one is in front of the bottle because you don’t just have the chance of the Cork flying at you, you have broken glass as well.

4) Pick up your blade, it can simply be a table knife, although this can downplay the excitement of the moment, the knife doesn’t need to be sharp or big, because you’re just using the back of the knife.

5) On the bottleneck you can see a line, it’s a line every bottle has, it’s how it’s made, rather than the winery placing an easy to find line for sabering.

6) After this line has been located, place the blunt end of your knife on it, pull the knife back, while still resting on the bottle, then strike across the bottle until you reach the line, don’t be worried to use strength, you might not get it first time, just like trying to start a lawnmower, so if need be, try it a couple of times, just don’t become annoyed and start smacking the neck of the bottle, that’s when you end up losing the whole bottle.

7) After you have sabered the bottle successfully, BE CAREFUL, the top of your bottle is now missing and it is sharp, don’t drink from the bottle, pour directly into a glass, you shouldn’t have to worry about shards of glass in your Champagne, but you can always siphon if you want to.

There you have it, 3 ways to open your bottle of Champagne, these are powerful techniques, showing professionalism, confidence and skill, now that you know how to safely use these methods, you’ll be the hero of every party with these new skills under your belt.

Oliver Walkey

Oliver Walkey

WSET 2 Journalist focused on sharing Champagne and Sparkling Wine reviews and cocktails to the world.