How To Open a Bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Follow These Four Easy Steps
Sparkling wine makes any gathering instantly more festive. But opening a bottle of champagne, prosecco, or cava can feel a bit like shooting a rocket indoors. To pop and pour like a pro, watch this video.

What You Need

  • bottle of sparkling wine, dish towel
  1. Remove foil

    Discard.<br /><br /><strong>
    Tip:</strong> The foil on most bottles has a little tab that you can pull to make this process easier.

  2. Loosen the wire cage

    Flip down the small wire “key” that’s pressed up against the neck of the bottle at the bottom of the wire cage that encloses the cork. Turn the key to loosen the cage. Remove and discard the cage.

  3. Drape a towel over bottle

    Now that the cork is exposed, drape a dishtowel over the top of the bottle, in case built-up pressure causes the cork to pop on its own. (The towel will also be at the ready in case any of the wine spills.)

  4. Twist the bottom hand until the cork eases out

    Keeping the bottle pointed in a safe direction (i.e. away from you and other people), grasp the cork with one hand and the base of the bottle with the other. Don’t try to twist the cork. Instead, hold the cork firmly while turning the bottle slowly, toward you, with the hand holding the base. As you turn the bottle from the base, you should feel the cork start to loosen and then ease into your hand. Continue until you hear the soft pop of the cork leaving the bottle. <br /><br /><strong>Tip:</strong> To avoid foamy overflow, pour only about an inch of wine into each glass at first, wait a few seconds for bubbles to subside, and then continue filling to just below the rim.