VinePair is ringing in the Holiday Cheers with a spotlight on the bottles we’re gifting (and hoping to receive) and a look inside some of our favorite holiday traditions and recipes — from elevated eggnog to all things bubbly. Plus, we’ll be reflecting on the past year in the beverage industry and shifting our focus to the drinks trends we expect to see in 2022.
Almost every bubbly lover relishes that loud pop of a cork — followed by a misty cloud of nose-tingling wine that signifies a jubilant night. And typically, that delightful sound is easy to achieve. To uncork most bottles of sparkling wine, Champagne included, the process is simple: Just remove the foil with the easy-open tab, then twist the loop on the cage, or muselet, and remove that as well. Then, you’re ready to pop that cork and start the celebration (just don’t forget to chill that bottle first).
But there’s one iconic Champagne brand for which this technique does not apply: Dom Pérignon. The house, which has been producing its legendary bubbly since 1921, loves to stick to tradition — and that includes the foil sticking to its bottle necks.
Adding to its air of luxury, Dom Pérignon puts a thin, antique foil on all of its bottles that is meant to remain attached during the uncorking process. And adding to its mystery: No one knows why.
As a bottle of Dom Pérignon does not have a pull tab on its foil coating — and because the foil is adhered to the bottle — accessing its cork by attempting to remove its foil is almost impossible.
Thus, the “proper” way to open these deluxe bottles is to use a wine key (or fingernail, knife, or sharp object of choice) to create a small hole in the foil to access the cage. Then, simply reach in, pull the cage’s tab through the foil, and untwist it. (Six is the magic number here.) All of this should happen without disturbing the foil casing. Then, grip the top of the bottle with your non-dominant hand, and turn the bottle from its base using your dominant hand for easy opening. The cork will quickly pop off — foil, cage, and all.
Now that you’ve stressed over the “right” way to open this bottle, it’s time to pour yourself a glass — you’ve earned it.