New Year's Eve is only a few weeks away. And with champagne corks soon to be flying around the room, it's that time of year that I warn my readers about avoiding a potentially devastating eye injury. Tamara Fountain, MD, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology informed me that a champagne cork can fly up to 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle! And because people are unprepared to get hit, they usually get hit directly in the eye without being able to reflexively close their eyelids. So please follow my advice about the proper technique in opening a champagne bottle:
- Make sure sparkling wine is chilled before you open it, since the cork of?a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.
- Don't emulate the athletes by shaking the bottle. Shaking dramatically increases your chances of eye injury by increasing the pressure inside the bottle.
- Hold down the cork with the palm of one hand while removing the wire hood with the other hand.
- Point the bottle away from yourself and from any bystanders or nearby walls until the cork is safely removed.
- Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
- Keep the bottle at a 45-degree angle as you¬†SLOWLY¬†and firmly twist the bottle (not the cork!) while holding the?cork to break the seal. Counter the force of the cork using slight downward pressure just as the cork breaks free from the bottle.
- NEVER¬†use a corkscrew to open a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine!*