Pop the cork, not your eye

Americans will consume more than a billion glasses of champagne during holiday and New Year 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 just less than 90 pounds of pressure—3 times the pressure inside a car tire.


The Korbel Champagne authorities offer this advice:

•  The recommended way to properly open a bottle is to ease the cork out slowly, with the sound of a gentle sigh—not a pop, which wastes champagne.

•  Make sure your champagne is chilled and unshaken. Chill the bottle for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator (a warm bottle is more likely to pop).

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

•  Undo the wire hood with 6 half-turns of the knob.

•  Hold the 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.

•  Do not twist the cork. Rather, turn the bottle slowly while letting the cork glide out gently, emitting a gentle sigh.

•  In the did-you-know department: There are more than 50 million bubbles in a standard bottle of champagne.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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