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Every year, improper cork-removal techniques cause serious, potentially blinding eye injuries. A champagne cork can fly up to 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle – fast enough to shatter glass. At such high speeds, you have no time to react and protect your eye. That's why it's so important to learn how to open a bottle of bubbly correctly and avoid flying corks in the first place.

Before your champagne toast, watch this video demonstration of how to properly open a champagne bottle to prevent an eye injury. It's amazing to see the impact of the cork as it hits the glass!

For a safe celebration, follow a few simple tips on how to properly open a bottle of champagne: 

  • Chill sparkling wine and champagne to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or colder before opening. The cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.
  • Don't shake the bottle. Shaking increases the speed at which the cork leaves the bottle thereby increasing your chances of severe eye injury.
  • To open the bottle safely, hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood. Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and any bystanders.
  • 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 while holding the cork to break the seal. Continue to hold the cork while twisting the bottle. Continue until the cork is almost out of the neck. 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. 

If you do sustain an eye injury from a champagne cork, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist – an eye medical doctor.

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