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Open Champagne Safely and with Style


There's a trick to opening champagne safely

By nature, the bubbly part of champagne means it's under quite a bit of pressure. Open a bottle the wrong way and someone can truly get hurt. If you're opening a bottle for the first time, you'll realize there is no special skill involved, just a little forehand knowledge. It's done differently than your typical bottle of wine and does not require much practice to reach perfection.

First, champagne should always be properly chilled. That has nothing to do with opening the bottle, but everything to do with its enjoyment once poured. To guarantee a good chill, place the bottle in a bucket filled with ice and water. That will cool it quickly. Just be sure to dry it off before opening to prevent slipping.

Next, remove the foil. At this point, keep the neck of the bottle pointed safely toward the ceiling and away from people Now, you can loosen the wire cage. You'll see where the wires are twisted together at the base. Some people choose to remove the wire entirely. However, you may want to leave it on. On occasion, a cork will pop - at bullet speed - as soon as the wire comes off, catching you unprepared. This can be caused by poor storage and an accidental light shaking. Place a towel over the top of the bottle and grasp the edge of the cork. With your other hand, slowly begin turning the bottle at the base. Don't be tempted to pull; just turn. That's it - turn the bottle, not the cork.

The end result is an exquisite little pop. While you may be accustomed to seeing tons of froth escaping in a grand show, that's a bad maneuver. Much of the bubbles are leaving, too, and there's little left to enjoy in the glass or to hit the tip of your nose and then your tongue.

If there is any unopened champagne left at the end of the evening - heaven forbid - plan on having it at breakfast. And that's only if it's sealed properly or the fizzy will be gone. A traditional cork style sealer simply won't work; you need the lever type to get a good seal. Even then, you'll have half a day to enjoy it in drinking form. If you find the fizz gone, don't worry. It's still wonderful for cooking!

 

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