I often become the designated opener of bubbly at parties.  It's really a unique skill that can't be applied to much else.   I mean if you can open a bottle of wine you can open the vast majority bottles of wine in the world.  If you can open a beer bottle, your an expert for 99% of what's out there.   If you can open a can... forget about it.  But there really isn't any thing that can be applied to learn how to open sparking wine.  So here's how to do it to maintain the carbonation and reduce the mess.

1) Chill it make sure it's chilled.  And try to chill it near where you're going to open it.  I'd say at least 2 hours. 

2) When you're getting ready to open it, try to keep the movement to a minimum.  Place it on a flat surface and dry it off to make sure it doesn't slip out of your hands.  

3) Gently remove the foil.

4) make sure the bottle isn't facing anyone's face and remove the wire 'cage'.  Some people keep a thumb on it.  I find it isn't necessary and if you've messed up the first 3 steps it's gonna go when it wants to go. 

5) Take a small towel,  fold in half and drape over the cork. 

6) Gently grip the cork over the towel with your thump softly resting on the top if it. You;ll probably only get 2 fingers on the cork (covered by the towel still), but that's all you need. 

7) Gently (seeing the pattern?) twist the cork and bottle in opposite directions till you hear the hiss. Give it one more quarter twist while pulling the cork up.

There is one handy tool that lets you skip 5-7. 

http://www.thechampagneopener.com/

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Comment by Brian Splash on April 28, 2012 at 9:25pm

You know the only right way to crack a champagne bottle is with a swift blow to the neck of the bottle with the back of a sword . 

Comment by Carl Monster on April 27, 2012 at 10:25am

That's the refined way.

I usually wait till no one is looking, point the thing away from people, and push like hell on the cork. It pops out and ricochets off the ceiling while everyone else is jumping to see what the hell was that. If there are small kids around I'll do it outside.

Another way is to use a sword/knife to pop off the entire glass part...my brother in law learned it while living in France. He did it at our wedding and almost cut his finger off.

He quietly returned to his guests (the reception was at his house) and didn't tell anyone till later. Now that's manly!

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