Wine X Staff
When I took the level one introductory Som test, one of our cool but snarky Master Som’s stated during test prep “when in doubt, the right answer is always CHAMPAGNE.” At test time, I found that advice to be wholly wrong…..Dilly Dilly
But that got me thinking,
Well, first off, it’s a commitment to a whole bottle. Unlike other wines, you really aren’t going to come back to it another day unless you have a great storage tool and even then, it’s probably only going into orange juice.
But the other thing that hit me is that, for a long time, I probably didn’t drink a lot of champagne because opening it was intimidating as hell.
Popping the top off of champagne elicits pop culture visions of locker rooms or finish lines with bubbles volcanically gushing out of the neck of a bottle….. or a champagne cork flying across the room, sometimes hitting someone or something. High risk unless you don’t care what you need to clean up or who sees you faceplant, at least I thought.
Here’s what you really need to know: Its easy as hell to open a Champagne bottle with less fanfare than the sneeze of a butterfly (do they sneeze? Never mind. Squirrel moment). Do this, thank me later:
- Cut or peel the foil off the cap of the bottle. Lots of ways to do this and really nothing can go bad here unless you decide to taste the foil….. don’t.
- Now you should be left with something that looks like a Fifty Shades torture cage surrounding a cork. Now the fun begins….. twist the cage tab – its the twisted end of the wires somewhere along the bottom off the cage – twist it SIX times…. Not five, Not seven…. Six. Have someone help you count if need be.
- I like to take a small hand towel and place it over the top of the cork/cage now. Put your left hand up on the next of the bottle, gripped around the cork.
- Tilt the bottle about 45 degrees. Right hand holding the butt of the bottle
- OK now the real fun happens…. What you should have is a slightly tilted bottle…. Your left hand around the cork, and your right hand under the bottom of the bottle……. Make sure your left hand has a nice tight grip….. Slowly rotate the bottom of the bottle left and right… like you are turning a combination lock back and forth. Twist it to loosen the cork and cage. Continue this motion until the cork just delicately just falls out…
- That’s it…. No gush. No pop. No noise. Nothing goes flying unless it’s something else with another cause.
You really ought to drink more champagne and not just on New Year’s. There’s a lot of great sparkling wine out there and for reasonable prices. Take this drink on as your go-to wine and you’ll add some novelty to most any dinner group.