How to Pop Champagne (Explode & No Explode Methods)

Champagne is synonymous with celebrations and special occasions. The sound of a popping cork signifies the start of a joyous event and the beginning of a new chapter.

However, if you’re new to opening champagne, the process of popping a bottle of bubbly may not be clear. Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered, and you won’t even need a wine key to open that bottle.

In this guide, I will walk you through the process of popping champagne, step-by-step.

So, grab a bottle of champagne, and let’s get popping!

How to Pop Champagne featured photo

Popping Champagne Bottles: To Spill, or Not to Spill

There are four main ways to pop champagne, and I’ll cover tips on each of them below. But first, you must choose an overall approach.

Since you found this article about popping champagne, the first question to consider is whether to spill (or even spray) the champagne while popping the cork. Though it might seem fun and glamorous to see champagne spraying everywhere, it’s clearly not necessary for everyday drinking. Also, it’s a bit wasteful if you’re opening a good bottle of wine. Also, need I mention that spilled or sprayed champagne is sticky, especially once it dries?

With that in mind, for most occasions I generally recommend approaches that avoid spills or overflows as you pop the bottle by gently twisting and slowly maneuvering out the cork

With that said, I know some of you are wanting to see that cork fly so I will also touch on how to execute that approach below.

Approach 1: Open Champagne Like a Connoisseur

If you want to enjoy champagne like a professional sommelier you should remove the cork gently. There should actually be minimal or no popping sound when the cork leaves the bottle. In this method, the cork is slowly eased out of the bottle using your thumb and forefinger. This method is the most sophisticated by far and is appropriate for formal settings and occasions, or just a quiet dinner with friends and lovers.

If you want to read more about how to open and serve champagne properly like a wine professional would, you can read more here.

Approach 1 Open Champagne Like a Connoisseur

Approach 2: Pop Champagne Like a Party Animal

Some occasions just call for a more aggressive popping style. If you just won your first F1 race (or the lottery), you might not be concerned about taking the gentler wine professional approach because you just want to see the cork and bubbly fizz fly. This technique requires a couple of additional steps and techniques (plus some advance consideration to the place and setting). Read more below.

Approach 2 Pop Champagne Like a Party Animal

Approach 3: A Middle Ground (Just Let Me Hear That Pop)

In the middle ground method, you actually do want to hear the bottle pop – and, let’s be honest, that popping sound is the sound of a good party getting started! However, you still want to maintain control of the cork because you don’t want to spill that precious nectar. After all, you splashed out for that special bottle to drink it, not to clean it off your shoes (or worse) at the end of the night.

Approach 4: Popping Champagne With a Champagne Saber

A traditional (and super fun) way to celebrate is to open a bottle using a champagne saber. In this method, typically a special type of sword called a champagne saber is used to slide along the side of the bottle and actually break off the cap of the bottle at the neck. This method actually does break the glass of the champagne bottle so it needs to be approached with caution and a bit of preparation, it’s too much to cover all the details in this article, so I explain all the details of how to saber champagne in a separate article here.

Before You Open That Bottle: 5 Steps to Prep

Step 1: Ensure the Champagne is Chilled

Before you start popping, make sure your champagne is properly chilled. Champagnes should generally be served between 43°F and 48°F, which will keep them refreshing while still allowing for flavor expression.

If you’re short on time, an ice bucket with a water and ice bath is the fastest and best way to chill a room temperature bottle of champagne down to serving temperature.

Step 2: Remove the Foil

The foil is what caps the champagne bottle and holds the cork in place. To remove it, twist it gently, and then peel it away. 

Step 3: Loosen the Wire Cage

Next, untwist the cage that holds the cork in place. It should take around six turns. The cage should be loosened but should generally not be removed (unless you are planning to send the cork flying). Be sure to keep your thumb over the cork to stop it from popping out as you untwist the cage.

Step 4: Hold the Bottle At A 45 Degree Angle

When it comes to holding your champagne bottle, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, always hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle to ensure the cork doesn’t hit anyone when it pops. Next, keep your grip firm yet gentle, holding the bottle’s base with one hand and the neck with the other. Don’t shake or agitate the bottle (at least not yet). This can cause an explosive popping experience.

Step 5: Don’t Point the Cork Towards People

Champagne bottles contain a lot of pressure inside, so when the cork is released, it can fly out at high speed and with force. Keep the bottle pointed in a safe direction and obviously don’t point the cork towards anyone as it pops to avoid causing injury (and embarrassment to you, the party-instigator). Instead, point the cork toward an open area.

Decision Time: Which Approach The Final Pop

By now you should have already selected which of the four approaches you are using as discussed above, so I’ll cover some tips for finishing the job.

A Note On Popping Champagne for Pictures

If you’re hoping to get a perfect shot of that champagne spray, it’s not as easy as it may seem, and you should coordinate carefully with your photographer to ensure you are ready for the moment. This is especially critical if it’s for a special occasion like a wedding. It’s important to ensure your photographer knows what’s happening and when, and that they are prepared with the right camera settings if you want to pop champagne for pictures. The champagne pop only lasts for a few moments so you don’t want to miss capturing it due to lack of coordination.

How to Pop a Champagne Bottle and Make the Cork Fly

If you’re in the mood for a more adventurous popping experience, you can make the cork fly. 

Begin by chilling the champagne as usual, and then removing the foil and loosening the cage as described above. If you’re going to send the cork flying, I recommend removing the wire cage first so that only the cork remains.

When you’re ready to pop the bottle, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle with one hand on the bottle’s base and the other hand gripping the cork and always pointing the bottle in a safe direction away from people.

Step 6: Shake the Bottle

If you are truly aiming for a pop and spray to go for a champagne shower situation, you’ll want to preshake the bottle (hard) back and forth for about 5-7 seconds. Do not lose your grip on the cork yet!

Step 7: Ease the Cork Out and Get Ready to Blow

Always maintaining your grip on the cork, slowly rotate the bottle to loosen the cork and ease it toward the bottle opening but not all the way out. There should be a lot of pressure at this point, so I recommend keeping some downward pressure on the cork as you ease it out, to keep it from popping before you’re ready.

When it starts to feel loose, and if you can feel the outward pressure on the cork, you’re ready to pop. You can give the cork a flick with your thumb to send the cork flying.

If you just want to see the cork fly and don’t mind some foam spilling over the sides of the bottle you can stop here.

Step 8: If You Want to Spray

If you want to spray the champagne in the air, this part is critical. You need to use your thumb to cover the bottle opening as soon as possible (read: immediately)  once the cork is out. Then, keep shaking the bottle and ease your thumb off to leave a small sliver clear at the bottle opening, keeping the rest of the hole covered with your finger.

What Champagne to Use for Pop and Spray

Unless you’re in a position to throw money away, I humbly suggest using sparkling wine for the pop and spray method, or at least the cheapest champagne you can find. While champagne showers can be fun once in a while, it hurts my heart to see quality champagne go to waste in a stream of bubbles and foam. Sparkling wines will work just as well for this effect and you can save your money to buy good champagne for drinking.

How to Pop a Champagne Bottle Without Spilling

If, as I recommend, you decide on a civilized approach to minimize spills when opening champagne, the main idea is to keep the cork in the bottle as long as possible. And, need I even say it, avoid shaking the bottle.

First ensure the champagne is chilled and remove the foil and twist to release the wire cage (but leave the cage sitting on the cork).

Next, holding the bottle at a roughly 45-degree angle with one hand on the bottle’s base and the other hand on the neck, gripping the cork firmly. While gripping and keeping pressure on the cork and cage, twist the bottle slowly, not the cork, until you feel the cork coming loose and ease it out.

It’s best practice to use your dominant hand on the cork, with the palm of your hand positioned over the top of the cork so you can keep hold of it more easily in case it pops out faster than expected.

When the cork is released, you should hear a gentle “pop.”

If you want to go for a bigger pop, but still avoid spilling, you can usually achieve this by just loosening the cork and just pulling it out quickly instead of easing it out gently.

Serve and Enjoy Your Champagne

Once your champagne cork pops, it’s time to enjoy!

A clean, white dish towel or kitchen towel comes in handy when pouring champagne into glasses, to ensure that any liquid that accidentally drips on the side of the bottle can be easily cleaned up.

Pour the bubbly liquid into glasses at an angle to preserve its carbonation and aroma. You can serve champagne in traditional champagne flutes, opt for a modern approach such as a tulip glass, or go old school with a 1920’s style champagne coupe.


With these easy tips, you can pop bottles like a pro and celebrate in style. Remember to keep your bottle chilled, remove the foil then untwist the cage, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, and don’t point the cork at anyone. Whether you opt for the gentle pop or a champagne shower, the most important thing is to enjoy the bubbly and savor every sip.