It’s the end of the holiday season, but despite it being over (and despite the pandemic), people are still in the festive spirit and house parties with close friends and family didn’t go away. And while it’s a good idea to stay safe and healthy during and after the winter festivities, it’s just as important to keep that house party of yours as quiet; after all, you don’t want to upset the neighbors.
One key item that all parties ought to have is champagne. It’s a sophisticated drink that anyone can take a sip of, and you can buy it at a reasonable price. You can even buy a decent champagne stopper and enjoy the drink at a later date. But interestingly enough, when it comes to champagnes, partygoers have a bit of a dilemma — do they pop the cork at the party or open it quietly?
In this article, I will cover how to open champagne bottles with as little noise as possible. This method will not only make your party a bit quieter than usual but also save you precious liquor in the process.
Why Should You Avoid Popping the Cork?
You’ve probably seen a whole bunch of rap videos where musicians pop the champagne and the foam flies all over the room. They are so common in our pop culture (no pun intended) that you can find compilation after compilation of this act.
However, there are some extremely good reasons to avoid popping the cork at a party. First off, it can be quite annoying, especially if you don’t do it properly. Next, the cork can actually harm someone or break something in your room when flying off. Finally, that foam which you spill onto the floor could have been drinkable champagne, so by popping the cork and letting it flow, you’re wasting good alcohol.
Now you have the basic idea of why popping the cork is the wrong way to go. All you have to do is figure out the right way of opening the bottle. Luckily, the process is simple enough for anyone to learn, so let’s get to it.
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How to Open Champagne Quietly
1. Chill the Bottle
Your champagne bottle should be chilled at 45℉ (around 7.2℃). When it’s chilled, the bottle is less likely to make the cork pop. In other words, you won’t have to suffer through a geyser of liquid that will squirt all over your guests. If your bottle looks like it’s about to explode, put it in the freezer for some 20 minutes before you decide on opening it.
2. Dry the Bottle
What happens when you have a bottle with lots of pressure building inside, but with droplets of water all over its exterior? Well, you will definitely not be opening it easily, that’s for sure. But more importantly, you risk the bottle slipping from your hands and dropping onto the floor, which can make a spectacular mess. The moisture will make it difficult to maintain a proper grip.
So, before you whip the bottle out, make sure to give it a good wipe. Paper towels or kitchen cloths will do fine.
3. Remove the Foil
Foil wrappers can be frustrating if you don’t remove them properly. However, don’t remove the cage underneath. It should be able to come loose with the cork.
4. The 45° Angle
Holding the bottle at the 45° angle will ensure that the pressure from the inside will hit the bottom of the neck. That way, you can avoid a massive burst and a major mess. Interestingly, you should also hold the glasses at this angle when pouring the champagne. That way, you get to keep as much of the carbon as possible.
5. Loosen the Cage
Each cork will have a cage, also known as a muselet. In order to open the bottle properly, you should merely loosen the cage, not remove it entirely. WIth 90% of champagne bottles, the cage will require you to twist its wire 6 times in order to make it loose.
6. Hold the Cork, Twist the Bottle
This is the most important step, and it comes in a few stages. They are as follows:
- Place your non-dominant hand on the cork
- The thumb should go on top of the cork, while the rest of the hand ought to grip the cork firmly and hold it in place
- Twist the bottle with your dominant hand; you can either twist it around or back and forth
- When you feel the cork pushing out, hold it tight and keep rotating the bottle
- Listen to the soft sighing at the bottle neck; if you can hear it, you are close to opening the bottle
- Let the cork come out with a soft, barely audible pop, but make sure it stays in your hand.
Before you pour the champagne, make sure to wipe the tip of the bottle with a clean cloth. In addition, don’t serve champagne in flute glasses. A wine glass will look far more elegant than a flute. Plus it will be a lot easier for your guests to drink from it.
Yes, sometimes it might be a bit more fun to make some noise. But if you want to be a sophisticated host, one that partygoers will gladly visit for many years to come, then you should learn how to open the champagne bottle without the pop. It will give your parties a touch of class, as well as reduce any nasty, sudden sounds that might annoy the neighbors.