Five Steps To Pop The Cork - Not Your Eye Out

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There's nothing that brings a little sparkle to your holiday get together with friends and family more than champagne. In fact, Americans will consume more than 900 million glasses of champagne this year, over 40 percent during the holiday season, according to Impact Databank. While champagne will add the sparkle, what you don't want to add are injuries to your holiday celebrations.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the careless handling of champagne is one of the most common causes for holiday-related eye injuries. These injuries are often caused by improperly opening the bottle, as a champagne cork is under 90 pounds of pressure -- three times the pressure inside a car tire. So, before you break open a high-pressured bottle of bubbly, it's important to know the proper technique. After 125 years of producing premium California champagne, Korbel Champagne Cellars is the authority on entertaining with bubbly. By following these simple tips, you can open the champagne bottle like a pro -- without injury or spillage.

"Champagne is for sipping, not spraying," said Gary Heck, owner and president of Korbel Champagne Cellars. "Follow these tips and you're sure to get your fine champagne, like Korbel, in the glass, rather than all over your guests. And remember, practice makes perfect. The more you entertain and serve champagne, the easier it gets."

While the popping of a cork may sound festive and exciting, it tends to waste champagne and can be dangerous. The recommended Korbel way to properly open a bottle is to ease the cork out slowly, with the sound of a gentle sigh. In order to celebrate this holiday season without injury (or wasting champagne) follow these five easy steps:

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1. Make sure your champagne is chilled and unshaken. Chill the bottle for at least four hours in the refrigerator (a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly).

2. Remove the foil cap covering the top of the bottle, exposing a wire hood.

3. Undo wire hood with six half-turns of the knob.

4. Hold bottle at a 45 degree angle while holding the cork firmly with one hand and the base of the bottle with the other. Be sure to point the bottle away from your guests.

5. Do not twist the cork.

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