How to open champagne safely - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

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Opening a bottle of celebratory fizz can be hazardous. Here's how to do it right.

Shake a bottle of champagne before you open it and, inevitably, the cork will fly out of the bottle. With luck it won’t hit a piece of priceless china or take someone’s eye out. Because opening a bottle of fizzy wine can be a dangerous business.

A German scientist has found that a vigorously shaken bottle of champagne will expel its cork at almost 25 miles per hour. So if you want to drink champagne, rather than cause an injury, you’ll need to arm yourself with a necessary safety tool – a clean tea towel.

To open a bottle of champagne safely first remove the foil covering the cork, then cover the top of the bottle with the tea towel. Now you’ll need to do the remaining bottle opening under cover.

Untwist the wire cage covering the cork and remove it. From this point onwards there is little to keep the cork popping out - your tea towel will ensure you safely capture any exploding corks from a ‘lively’ bottle.

Now holding the tea towel over the cork with your right hand, twist the bottom of the bottle with your left hand. The bottle should start to twist off the cork.

Gradually loosen the cork and let it gently pop out. The tea towel will catch the cork and soak up any wine that fizzes out. Finally, remove the cloth and pour.

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