How To Open a Bottle of Sparkling Wine
1. Make sure the bottle is cold. Sparkling wine tastes best when cool (45 degrees F to 55 degrees F). The best way to chill sparkling wine is to place the bottle in a bucket of half ice and half water for about 20 minutes.
2. Remove the foil covering the cork. Many bottles have a tear tab for this purpose.
3. Place a folded cloth napkin over the cork and wire hood. Grasp the cork and the neck of the bottle through the napkin. Tilt the bottle away from yourself and others at a 45 degree angle, bracing the bottom of the bottle against yourself. If you are opening the bottle in its ice bucket, brace the bottom against the inside corner of the bucket.
4. Pull down the wire tab that secures the hood; untwist the tab and loosen the wire hood so that it does not catch on the bottle lip, but DO NOT REMOVE the wire hood and DO NOT LET GO OF THE CORK. Still grasping the cork, and wire hood through the cloth napkin, slowly twist the tilted bottle, NOT THE CORK.
5. As you turn the bottle, the pressure of the bubbles will start to push the cork out. Keep a firm grip on the cork and gently let it ease itself out. Try tilting out the edge of the cork closest to you, allowing the gas to escape slowly. The cork should come out with a whisper, not a loud pop.
Courtesy of Domaine Chandon