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Thursday, December 30, 2010

How To Open a Bottle of Champagne

I hope you have your champagne chilling because in just a few hours it will be time to obligatorily take a sip and then kiss who ever you are dating, married to or just happen to be standing next to at midnight. So many people love the taste of champagne but only have it on special occasions. I say fuck that. Have it whenever you want it. About two weeks ago, I made hamburgers for dinner and served it with a bottle of fine sparkling wine. It really complimented the Costco meat patties, Miracle Whip and American cheese. Opening a bottle of champagne takes a bit of practice so I thought I would share with you my immense experience of opening them. And before you think I am a total alcoholic (I am), this experience comes from six years as a brunch server where I opened about twenty bottles a day. Most people think that successfully opening bottle of champagne means it spews out all over the place in a premature ejaculation kind of way. Not cool though. Here is the right way to open a bottle of champagne:
  1. Take off that foil crap that is all around the cork. Use your teeth if you have to.
  2. Now you want to remove that wire cage thing. You have to put your thumb over the cork in case the pressure has built up and it's ready to pop. Unless you shook the bottle too much, it's probably fine. Just don't point the bottle at your nether regions or eyes. Twist the wire counter-clockwise six half rotations and then take it off. Or leave it on. Whatever.
  3. Now you can put a towel over it in prep to remove the cork. I don't do that though because I'm a pro. Grip the cork and now start twisting the bottle. Not the cork. The bottle. Kinda pull it at the same time and you should feel it start to loosen and rise from the bottle.
  4. Keep control of the cork even though it's totally tempting to shoot that bitch at somebody. Don't do it. It really brings down a party when someone actually loses an eye. You want to let it release with a soft "poofy" noise. Like the sound a fart makes when you think it's going to be silent, but it's not. You don't want that loud pop.
  5. It's open. Pour that baby into a beer bong and go to town.

The movies always show people popping the cork and then laughing as the champagne spills all over the place. What they don't show is what a pain in the ass it is to clean up all that champagne. They also don't show me sitting in the corner at the end of the night all pissed off because we are out of champagne because half of it is on the fucking floor.

Happy New Year!! Tweet this for good luck.

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Simple Dude said...

Awesome advice. I am always the designated champagne / wine opener and I have to admit, even after opening 30+ bottles of champagne in my life I still get a tiny bit nervous.

I am worried that the pressure is going to push the bottle out of my hand and I'm going to drop it - breaking or spilling it everywhere, thereby looking like a real schmuck.


jes said...

you're awesome. period. the day you stop updating this blog (if you ever do) is the day that i will quit my serving job. only because im afraid no one knows my pain.

Bouncin' Barb said...

Great post BW...that big pop and spill is also money going down the drain when you're drinking very expensive champagne like I do. I want to enjoy every last bubble and drop!!! yummmm... I used to have champagne and pizza nights with a great friend. I'm thirsty now. Happy New Year.

Steven Nicolle said...

Happy New Year BW all the best!

dirtydisher said...

Happy New Year, Bitchy!!

gabriellemimi said...

Happy New Year! Thank you for being such a joy to read.
If I could figure out where you worked, I would come sit in your station and leave you a huge tip!
Im pretty sure I know the place that cannot be named, and we eat there all the time, so after all that drama, I wondered if you ever waited on us! Fun!
Anyway, thanks bunches for keeping us laughing

California Girl said...

Happy New Year and we poffed our cork just fine.

Mary A. said...

Happy New Year's! I hope you make a ton of $$$ in 2011. I hope I do too. said...

Who'd ever believe a bitchy waiter like you would ever share such a nifty tip about opening bottles.

I know what you mean about movie scenes with champagne in them. I recently watched "Desk Set." There was champagne all over Katharine Hepburn's office during the Christmas party. If the camera had panned down, I'm sure everyone was buckled up in galoshes.
I suppose champagne spewing everywhere is meant to visually convey the gaiety of events calling for the sophisticated bubbly brew. Such scenes would benefit from a quick cut to Thelma Ritter steaming in the shadows of a kitchen hallway, bedraggled mop in tow. The everyman's reality check.

P.S. I don't think you're really bitchy at all, but I'll dash a goblet of champagne in your face and snarl, "you bitch!" to maintain the illusion. Happy New Year!

Guy said...

I worked banquets for years and opened countless bottles of champagne for weddings, new years and anniversary events. The only thing I'd amend - just 'cos I'm that paranoid - is that I never removed the wire cage. I untwisted it by its key, but I kept my palm over it at all times (and usually with a napkin since I was opening cases of champagne and my hand would get raw). From the moment the bottle was in my hand (or one of my waiters' hands) it wasn't pointed anywhere but a wall. A 45-degree angle is best, and you don't want the bottles too cold or the champagne doesn't taste as good and the corks are harder to remove.
I get nervous even watching a movie when an actor waves around a bottle a lets champagne fly everywhere.

The Empress said...

Thank you for the amusing and handy dandy tutorial. No doubt some dick for brains will wish they had read your post BEFORE they shot someone's eye out or damaged their nether regions with a champagne cork.

Happy New Year and may 2011 bring you all the cocktails and happiness your heart desires.

Gabriele Agustini said...

Happy New Year, Bitchy!!!!
You're not still hung over, are you?!
That would really suck!!
Great tutorial!!

zker said...

happy new year ;) awesome advice

Nicki said...

Mimosas are the new coffee. Fuck special occasions.

Anonymous said...

Saw this and thought of you. I see the state is going to regulate these crazy ass tipping pools and practices.

kayla.rose said...

I know this is late, but only just found this blog (after seven years in hospitality) -- I always say a bottle of bubbly should sigh like a lady, not pop like a whore. Words to live by.

BunnyB said...

Last year I used some of my sommelier training to show my Marine hubby how to saber open a bottle of champagne. I don't own a proper sword for this, so I used a large carving knife (and cheap sparkling wine, it took me 3 tries but I got it. Well, he thought that was just top shit and we zoomed to the liquor store and bought 7 bottles of M&R Asti Spumante and he took out his NCO sword and sabered the hell out of all of the bottles! But I'm in FL, so we did this outside, no mess! I was feeling a bit like hell the following day, because Marines do not believe in wasting alcohol, so every bottle was consumed! (Thank God there's a good amount that sprays out of the bottle!) Since it went so well last New Year's, we're going to make a video during the daytime to show how we do it. If anybody's interested in seeing it, it'll be on my fb wall and open to the public on the 2nd or 3rd of January.
Happy New Year and be safe, but most of all, if you go out, don't be cheap, DOUBLE tip your server!(and give your server a lil up front, it might make their shift more bearable!)