Prosecco for Christmas and New Year’s: How to open a bottle of sparkling wine

Prosecco is a go-to during the holidays. Here are a few easy tips for opening and serving the wine.

A lot of us wine lovers will reach for Prosecco this holiday season (including us). It’s important to know how to open a bottle properly and how to serve the wine. Following a few basic rules-of-thumb will only allow you and your guests to enjoy the wine even more.

Let the wine rest in your home a few days before you open it. Prosecco, just like all sparkling and still wine, will taste better when it has some time to rest in your wine cellar or fridge. And in the case of Prosecco Colfòndo, if you store it upright the wine will naturally decant itself, with the sediment gathering on the bottom of the bottle (see below).

Make sure the wine is chilled but not too cold. When the wine is too cold you won’t be able fully to taste its flavor.

Always have a cloth napkin or clean kitchen towel handy when you open a bottle of any wine. You never know when you are going to have a surprise spill (and sometimes sparkling wine can foam up if it’s been inadvertently agitated before opening).

If the wine has a foil capsule, find the tab that will allow you to remove the capsule and gently tear it off.

Before you remove the cage, be sure to keep your thumb over the cork (this is very important; don’t ever remove your hand from the cork until the wine is ready to pour).

It will always take 6 turns to open the cage, turning to the right. This is the case for all sparkling wine. (And don’t forget not to remove your thumb over the cork while removing!)

Once you have removed the cage (slipping it off and returning your thumb over the cork as quickly as you can), place your left hand over the cork and hold it firmly; tilt the bottle to a 45° angle; and then using your right hand, gently turn the bottle from the base. Don’t turn the cork. Turn the bottle (this is the secret). As you gently turn the bottle, keep the pressure on the cork with your left hand. As the bottle turns, the cork will gently expel itself from the bottle.

Don’t serve the wine in flutes (no one does that anymore!). Ideally, use a white wine glass. This will help the wine to express its aroma and flavor.

If you’re serving a Prosecco Colfòndo that you’ve stored upright in the fridge, the sediment will be in the bottom and the wine you pour will be clear. As you get the last glass, you will start to see some sediment. And that means… it’s time to open another bottle!

Happy holidays everyone!

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