There is nothing quite like the "pop" of a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine - the anticipation, the ritual, the celebration. During the holiday season, it's estimated that Americans will consume more than 360 million glasses of sparkling wine or champagne. Unfortunately, though, opening a bottle of bubbly can be messy and even cause injury if you're not careful. So, it's important to learn how to open champagne safely.
A champagne cork can fly up to 50 MPH as it leaves the bottle — fast enough to shatter glass and cause severe damage to your eye, according to the American Academy of Opthalmology.
"When a champagne cork flies, you really have no time to react and protect your delicate eyes," said Dr. Monica L. Monica, an ophthalmologist and spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Uncontrolled champagne corks can lead to painful eye injuries and devastating vision loss. We don't want anyone to end up ringing in the year on an ophthalmologist's surgery table."
Fortunately, we have some tips to keep you safe when opening your bottle. You'll be surprised at the most important step in opening a bottle of champagne that can make a huge difference in your safety.
- Make sure your bottle of champagne is chilled to about 45-degrees Fahrenheit. It's called "bubbly" because it has tons of bubbles. They are filled with gas that expands when warm and can cause corks to pop out unexpectedly which can lead to injury. This is the most important thing you can do to ensure your safety and that of others around you. Simply, chill it before you pop it.
- Remove the foil and wire cap but not until you are ready to uncork.
- Point the bottle away from your face and from bystanders.
- Slowly twist the cork out.
- Time to pour.
- Make a toast.
Watch a Pro
See for yourself. Watch Haskell's Chairman and CEO Jack Farrell demonstrate the best way to open a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine safely and to avoid a mess.
Avoid These Mistakes
The how-to tips are important, but so are the don't do's.
When it comes to bubbly, never:
- Open a warm bottle (the cork is more likely to pop unexpectedly).
- Use a corkscrew.
- Use your thumbs to force the cork out of the bottle.
We want you to have a safe holiday, and enjoy your bubbly.
Cheers from all of us at Haskell's!