Champagne is a wine many people reserve only for "special occasions". It's no surprise then why there is a sort of mystique surrounding the act of properly opening a Champagne bottle. Many people immediately picture movie scenes depicting a cork rocketing across the room, often times hitting someone or something in a delightfully humorous manner.
The first and perhaps most important goal while opening a Champagne bottle is to maintain control of the cork. Also, you want to minimize excess spillage. During the entire process keep the cork pointed in the safest direction and keep a towel or napkin wrapped around the bottle's neck. Maintain a 45-degree angle.
The first step is to remove the outer layer of foil surrounding the cork area. Carefully loosen the metal wire securing the cork. Place the towel (or whatever you choose to use) over the cork and firmly hold it in place. Gently begin moving the bottle to loosen the cork - but do not pull directly on the cork. Eventually the cork will begin to ease off into the towel. The more you can prevent a strong "popping" the better. A sudden popping will waste Champagne and you'll be losing out on precious bubbles and carbonation.
Some people recommend getting rid of the towel at this point, though this depends on your pouring abilities. It also depends on the formality of the situation. Informally, the towel can make for easy pouring and is acceptable socially. In more formal situations, you may want to abandon the towel and be sure to inspect the label. To pour, use the same technique you'd use with any bottle of wine. With a firm grip on the bottle, gently fill glasses up about 3/4 of the way. Towards the end of the pour raise the bottle while slowly rotating to prevent dripping.
What type of glass is best? Please forget about those trendy wide-topped party glasses. The perfect shape for a Champagne glass is a narrow flute, designed to preserve carbonation and bubbles. Our experience in wine tastings has proven to us that a pointed bottom with a bit of a rough area enables the best bubbling. Make sure the glass is clean and polished.
Like we said, Champagne is often reserved for special occasions, but it doesn't have to be! More and more people are starting to enjoy Champagne for any occasion. Personalized champagne flutes can make the most mundane occasions special. Custom engraved champagne flutes can be engraved with any message, phrase or image imaginable.
Important Tip: Never use a corkscrew on a Champagne bottle! The Champagne is under an enormous amount of pressure and could lead to explosion.