Rules on how to open a bottle of wine are completely broken when you have to open a bottle of sparkling wine. Do you want to know how to do it?
It can be opened in the air, without the need of being placed on a surface, in an ice bucket or any other recipient. To do this, one must rotate the bottle until the cork comes out and you can (and should) grab the glass at this moment in order to serve the wine.
This process is forbidden when it is a regular red or a white wine, for example.
But first things first, the bottle should be very chilled, around 4º or 5ºC. It must have an ice bucket with ice and a bit of water to keep its freshness.
The bottle must not be excessively shaken during transportation or even when inside a wine cooler or ice bucket, otherwise the wine will pop up out of the bottle as foam instead of wine. Unless you’ve won Volta a Portugal or Tour de France, for example, this is not the correct way of opening a sparkling wine bottle.
With the wine inside the cooler or any other recipient, remove the “capsule”, many bottles have an “easy open” strip. Place one hand on the cork and with your other hand, unscrew the Muselet (the wire cage over the cork) and carefully remove it.
Carefully remove it while keeping your thumb over the cork to control it in case it starts to get out.
Cover and firmly hold the cork with your hand. Remove the bottle from the recipient and slowly turn the bottle (not the cork!). Hold the bottle at a 45º angle, pointing it in the opposite direction of your body. If you try to rotate the cork, you’ll probably end with the cork in your hand and the bottle on the floor. Besides, it is easier to force the bottom of the bottle instead of the cork.
Slowly release the cork that must be covered by your hand all the time. Once it starts to get out, push it to make it slow down. When the cork is out, you should hear something similar to a sigh and not a “pop”! This way, the carbon dioxide will slowly leave the bottle and the bubbles will be kept in the wine for a longer time.
Dare to try and be the service sommelier at your own home. Open and enjoy Portuguese sparkling wine.