Everyone can open a bottle of wine with the right tools, but not everyone dares to approach a bottle of bubbles with confidence. After all, there’s three times the pressure inside a car tire in a bottle of sparkling wine.
It’s time to step under the spotlight and be the person of the hour. Today we’re telling you how to open a bottle of Champagne like a Sommelier. Remember, practice makes perfect, so after a few bottles, you’ll be uncorking those sturdy bottles like a pro.
Before we get started, we’d love to invite you on a Chauffeur Drive, Melbourne Yarra Valley private winery tour to the Yarra Valley, they surely know how to make some world class bubbles up there!
1. Safety First!
Before you attempt opening a bottle of sparkling wine, make sure you and your guests are safe. A flying rogue cork is no joke, and it can give you a black eye or even break a window.
Never shake a bottle of wine, and if it’s been subject to a lot of movement, let it rest before attempting to open it. Never point a bottle of sparkling wine towards anyone, especially while opening it, and that includes yourself.
3. The Foil and the Cage
The first step of a professional sparkling wine service starts by you clasping the bottle of wine by the neck with your left hand. Remove the foil using the blade of a waiter’s friend two-step corkscrew (the tab in the foil fails more often than you think, so use a blade instead).
Remove the foil with your right hand and place the foil in your pocket. Put your left thumb over the wire cage (muselet) and with your right hand twist the wire six and a half times to the right and loosen it up (Never remove your thumb from the cage!).
4. Pop it open!
With the cork and neck held safely with the left hand, grab the butt of the bottle with your right hand and gently twist with both hands, with your left hand on top of the wire cage and your right hand underneath the bottle, twist in opposite directions.
Pulling a cork from a bottle of sparkling wine is not that much about pulling, but about not letting the cork go loose. You’re actually pushing the cork down with your left hand, allowing it to slip out slowly. Remove the cork with the muselet and present it to your guests.
5. Final Tips
Serve your sparkling wine at the right temperature, between 4ºC (Fridge temp) and up to 10ºC for full-bodied, complex wines.
Serving Champagne in slim flute glasses is a beautiful tradition, and the best way of giving the tiny bottles a stage to shine. Still, if you’re really into enjoying the wine’s aromas, you’re better off pouring your bubbles in white wine glasses.
The Sommelier ritual might impress in fancy dinner parties, but don’t be afraid of letting that cork pop loudly if the occasion arises, for example, in New Year’s Eve or while on your private winery tour to the Yarra Valley celebrating with loved ones, family and friends.
Don’t Be Afraid!
Approaching a bottle of sparkling wine with caution is a good idea, but there’s no need to be afraid. The bottle is more fearful of you and your drinking buddies than you are of it.
Every time you open a bottle of wine is a celebration in itself, so don’t wait for a memorable occasion to pop a cork, make your own special occasion by bringing some bottles to the party.
If you want to learn more, take a ride with us on a Chauffeur Drive, Melbourne, Yarra Valley private winery tour to the best wineries in the Yarra Valley, there will be plenty of reasons to have a toast.