Learning how to open a champagne bottle like a pro, without blowing it, takes no time at all. Here's a quick tutorial on the subtle method that helped me get over my fear of opening champagne in public.
Step 1: Remove the Foil Top
Different bottles are perforated in different spots on the foil top. If there's not an obvious and easy tab to pull for removing the foil, I like to find the twist tab of the wire cage and open the foil by putting my thumb nail under the tab and pulling it out, through the foil. Then you are able to unwrap and remove the foil top.
(If the remaining lower portion of the foil is loose and moving around, I like to remove that too.)
Step 2: Remove the Wire Cork Cage
Remove the wire cork cage, or muselet, by twisting the circular tab towards you if you're right handed, and away from you if you're left handed. Occasionally I've found that the cage is the only thing keeping the cork in place, so be sure to keep pressure on the cork as you remove the cage just in case.
Step 3: Pro Cork Removal
While 'popping' the cork is exciting at big events or outdoor parties, I prefer a more subtle technique for indoor removal. That's why I was so excited to learn this simple trick:
1. Place the bottle on a smooth and stable surface.
2. Firmly grab the cork and push down while keeping it stationary.
3. As you're holding the cork and pushing down, SLOWLY twist* the bottle either direction while keeping the bottle firmly on the work surface.
4. Allow the cork to slowly rise up and out of the bottle as you're slowly twisting the bottle until there is a very small pop and the cork comes all the way out. There may be a little foaming over, but if you've done the process slowly enough, there will be only a small amount or none at all.
*Depending on the internal pressure, it will take anywhere from 5-8 rotations of the bottle before the cork is ready to come out.