Champagne 101: How to (Safely) Pop Champagne

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No other drink seems better suited to a celebration than Champagne, but when those special moments arrive, you'll want to make sure that the Champagne is chilled to just the right temperature and, when the bottle is opened, there's no overflow.

Chill the Champagne to 45 degrees, usually three hours in the refrigerator or 30 minutes in an ice bucket. Cut the foil and remove. Wrap a towel around the bottle; this will help to keep the cork from flying away and to catch any Champagne that might spill. Hold the neck of the bottle while securing the top of the cork with your thumb. Twist off the cage; it takes about six turns to undo it.

Champagne Opener How-To

Remove the wire cage while you are still holding the cork. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle. Hold the cork with one hand and the bottom of the bottle with the other; turn the bottle -- not the cork -- slowly and carefully. Release the cork gently, and pour the Champagne.

Additional Tips

1. Use flute glasses that focus the aroma, rather than coupes.

2. Pour the Champagne down the side of the glass to give the champagne fewer "head bubbles."

3. Don't shake the bottle; it increases the internal pressure and the champagne will have less fizz when you serve it.

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