Happy New Years! I hope that 2009 ends well for you, and that 2010 is more prosperous and fun than any you’ve ever had. And with that thought in mind, I’d like to propose a toast…What? You say you need someone to open the bottle of bubbly first? Well…How about I teach you.
The first thing to keep in mind is contrary to what you see on Nascar, you don’t shake the bottle up until the cork flies off hitting a blonde supermodel in the head. Actually, shaking Champagne while opening the bottle is quite dangerous. It also makes the wine go flat quickly because you are allowing all of the gasses to escape right out the top of the bottle. What I actually propose is that you open your bubbly in the proper manner, which will really impress your guests both with your style and the wine’s flavor.
The best way to open a bottle of Sparkling wine, or Champagne is to hold the bottle in a cloth napkin or towel. First cut and then remove the foil wrapper from around the cork area. I propose actually removing all of the foil possible because it makes it easier to do the next processes in opening the bottle.
Once you’ve removed the foil, hold the bottle around the neck with your thumb over the top of the cork. With the other hand remove untwist the cage. Carefully, with the cork away from yours or anyone else’s body remove the cage and place your thumb back over the end of the cork.
With your free hand, wrap the end of the bottle in the napkin or towel. Once covered, gently twist the cork in a counter-clockwise motion. The cork will naturally push itself from the bottle with very little work. The colder the wine inside, the more you might have to pull a little as you twist.
As the cork pops free from the bottle be sure to keep a firm grip on both the cork and the bottle. The cork will come out with a deep and reassuring “pop”. Serve and enjoy!!
Now…for those who really want to try something special, and don’t mind cutting parts of their body off and having to make a trip to the emergency room on New Years Eve. I have a special treat for you. A quick lesson in Sabering!
Sabering Champagne is extremely romantic, manly, and downright impressive. (If it is done right.) Do it wrong though, and you’ll likely be missing a thumb!
Once again, remove the foil from the bottle. This time, instead of removing the cage completely, untwist it, and retighten it on the lip closest to the top of the bottle.
Now, for the tricky part. Along the length of all bottles there is a bead of raised glass from the molding process. Find that edge and make sure that it is free of labels and foil. Point your bottle with that edge side up, away from yourself, other people, and all important objects such as plasma televisions.
Grasp a large dull knife such as a chef’s knife firmly in the other hand. In three smooth even strokes run the knife blade along the edge until your knife hits the bottom lip on the bottle. On the third stroke add a little extra pressure and follow through with the knife. The bottle will break at the seam, removing the cork and top of the bottle. All glass chards are also removed with the spewing wine.
Enjoy, and Happy New Years!!