12.10.2018 - Articles
How to open a bottle of Sparkling Wine like a Pro
There are certainly occasions when opening a bottle of sparkling wine means knocking the cork off with a saber, or showering a race winner with bubbles, but most of the time you just want to be a smooth and charming host!
We asked bar manager and sommelier Vincenzo 'Locci' Loccisano from 8 Brooklyn, Modena, to provide us with his top tips for an accident free de-corking, and a perfect pour.
The pressure in a spumante bottle is around 5 atmospheres, and a cork can shoot out of a bottle at up to 50 km/h! This means the warmer the wine, the more volatile the de-corking. Bolé recommends keeping your bottle chilled between 4 and 10°C.
Sparkling wines and Champagne taste better if they have been cooled sufficiently, preferably overnight which enhances the CO2 binding process meaning finer, more integrated bubbles.
For stability, and so as not to risk spilling any precious bubbles, I recommend keeping the bottle on a table top. My bar is the perfect height!
- Remove the foil and loosen the key of the wire cage, keeping hold of the cork in one hand from this moment on
- Don’t remove the cage, as this little piece of engineering is designed to avoid accidents
- Grip the cork in one hand, using your other hand to hold the shoulders of the bottle
- Slowly turn the bottle, not the the cork
- Hold the cork steady, resisting its tendency to fly out, and ease it slowly out of the bottle. A flying cork might look dramatic, nobody wants to wake up with a black eye!
- The gas pressure should be released with a quite ‘phut’, not an explosion and, more importantly, without losing any wine!
Once you get confident the table-top open, you can go freehand, but remember to keep the bottle tilted at a 30-degree angle, and always pointing away from you or your guests!
For a perfect pour, make sure your glass is squeaky clean as even small fibres can affect the texture of the bubbles. Pour in one slow, smooth motion, to avoid the glass bubbling over.
Toast your friends and have a sparkling evening!