(Not) Popping Bubbly

Popping bubbly has long been a tradition for celebrating just about anything…weddings, engagements, new jobs, and of course the new year.

In honor of this tradition, we thought we would give you some useless information to wow your friends this evening as you ring in 2013:

  • Bottled Champagne is under 90 pounds per square inch of pressure
  • An average bottle can shoot a cork 42 feet
  • Corks have been clocked at 50 mph
  • A typical opening distance of 23 inches only needs 0.05 seconds to hit an eye


No wonder opening Champagne bottles has always scared the bejeezus out of me!  But honestly, I didn’t even know any of these facts until the other day when I read a USA Today article on how to correctly open one.  It was always the popping sound that did me in.  The same goes for those refrigerated biscuits that you open by pressing a spoon into the seam.  I know THAT’S not dangerous, but to me it’s just as scary as a cork flying at my eyeball.

But I have good news!  That pop isn’t even supposed to happen!  I’ve just been doing it wrong all these years.  Here’s a brief overview on how to correctly and safely open a bottle of Champagne:

  1. Chill the Champagne for several hours before opening.  Cold champagne is less likely to spurt out of the bottle.
  2. This is pretty obvious, but don’t shake the bottle and limit jostling when taking it out of the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the foil and untwist the wire cage.  For better control of the cork, untwist it completely, but don’t fully remove.
  4. Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle and point the bottle away from any person or breakable item, just in case!  To be extra careful, hold a cloth napkin over the cork.
  5. Now here’s the real trick: Hold the cork with your fingers and use your other hand to twist the bottle, not the cork.  While you turn the bottle, the cork will slowly ease out. Once you start to feel more pressure, apply a little bit of downward pressure on the cork.  When done correctly, the cork won’t pop, but instead you’ll hear a tiny little hiss.

Now if I could only find a solution for the biscuits…

If you’re interested on reading about this in more detail, you can find the original article here.

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