There’s no denying it: Sparkling wine comes in the most celebratory of all the bottles. There’s nothing quite as festive or exciting as that signature pop, the waft of white fog that slowly exhales from the bottle, and the rise of gurgling bubbles flowing from the top of the bottle. It’s thrilling! But it’s also confusing, what with the wire frame, the pull tab, and the cork all squeezed together and ready to explode at the slightest human touch.
Here’s a life hack for opening a bottle of Champagne like a pro: It always takes the same number of twists to remove the wire cage from a bottle of champers. That number is six. After removing the foil covering, which is generally made easy with a foolproof pull tab, you’ll see that dreaded wire caging staring at back at you. The wired cage is called a “muselet” and is always opened with six quick twists of this wrist, or three if you do full-circle turns. Wine and liquor professionals polled by Champagne and Security gave a few reasons for this standard six-twist rule: tradition, for one thing. Alternatively, “6 refers to the pressure of 6 atmosphere in the bottle,” according to others. And then there’s the romantic explanation: “6 is what the French see as the number of intense happiness.”
Now that you’ve got the cage off, you need to deal with the cork. Contrary to popular belief, Champagne corks are not meant to be aggressively ripped out of their bottles, making noise and shooting bubbles all over the room. A Champagne cork should exit its bottle with a quiet sigh of contentment. To achieve this effect, grasp the bottle firmly and twist the bottle, not the cork. Release the pressure slowly until you hear a small pop, followed by a light waft of white fog. Then, pour and enjoy.