Happy New Year(’s Eve)!
As we get ready to take down the old calendar and put up a new list of days, it seems a fitting time to ask the tough question that we all face from time to time: what’s the best way to open a bottle of champagne?
Everybody loves to hear the *pop* of the cork coming out, but what the sound actually signals is carbonation rushing out of the bottle. If you actually hear a pop, that’s indicative that the person doing the opening has made a mistake; the louder the pop, the bigger the mistake. An ideal cork removal will make but a murmur of a hiss as a small amount of gas is slowly released. The result of your care will be bubbly that’s more bubbly.
Hold the bottle at your waist at a 45-degree angle with the bottle pointed away from people. Carefully, slowly, and while actually exerting pressure to keep the cork in the bottle, twist the cork one way and the bottle the other. Continue until the pressure of the champagne’s gas eases the cork into your hand with a fizz no louder than a can of soda being opened. Many authorities recommend that you hold a towel over the cork in case it shoots away—not a bad idea if you’re worried (you don’t want to damage a window or a vase), but if you know what you’re doing, it’s no more than a precaution.
Once the cork has been removed, pour some of the champagne immediately or hold the bottle at the 45-degree angle for a few seconds so that the gas dissipates instead of heading straight toward the bottleneck. If you immediately right the bottle, you’ll likely wind up with a waterfall over the top of the bottle.
Have a great evening and a wonderful 2007!