How to Safely Open a Champagne Bottle

March 26, 2013

A flying cork can cause a serious eye injury!


Most emergency rooms can tell you that one of the worst times for eye injuries is New Year’s Eve.  The simple reason is that a greater number of champagne bottles are opened by persons who are unfamiliar with the proper and safe way to so.

When a bottle is opened improperly, the cork can be propelled at very high speed by gas pressure in the bottle – almost like being shot out of a cannon!  If it strikes someone in the eye, the result can be serious.  Internal hemorrhage, cataract, and torn or detached retinas are all very real dangers.

Don’t allow a happy occasion to be converted to tragedy because of a careless moment with champagne bottle.  Whether the occasion is New Year’s Eve, an anniversary, or another celebration, please use common sense.  You need not risk your – or anyone else’s – eyesight to have a good time.

Simply follow these simple instructions:

  • Chill the wine.  Warm champagne generates more pressure behind the cork.
  • Be careful not to shake the bottle.
  • With the bottle pointed away from your own face and from everyone else’s, removed the foil seal and the wire that holds the cork in place.  Keep one finger on the cork while you remove the wire.
  • As soon as the wire is removed, cover the top of the bottle with a towel.  Get a grip on the cork through the towel and then slowly and gently begin to twist and pull on the cork.
  • Keep pulling and twisting on the cork until you start to feel or hear the release of some of the gas in the bottle.  Continue slowly until you have gradually released all of the gas behind the cork.  Then remove the towel with the cork.

Cheers!  Make your toast, drink your drink, and enjoy

Content is excerpted from Triad Notes with Permission

Dr. Jeffrey Gold is an award winning surgeon practicing at Liberty Vision in Hamden CT. Dr. Gold specializes in epi-LASIK vision correction.