Corks to Eye Put the 'Pain' in 'Champagne'

  • Do not shake the bottle before opening. The gas can expand, which puts the cork under more pressure, says the academy.
  • Do not unscrew the safety wire before the bottle is pointed away from yourself and others, says Kaiser. "The worst injuries occur when the bottle is opened while looking directly at the cork so it hits the eye squarely."
  • Do not pop the cork. Popping, instead of gently unscrewing the cork, allows the cork to burst out uncontrolled, increasing the chance of eye injury.
  • Do not open the bottle close to a wall or a ceiling. "Letting it fly towards the ceiling is still dangerous due to potential richocheting of the projectile," says Braverman.
  • Here are tips from the AAO to safely open a Champagne bottle during this holiday season:

    • Make sure sparkling wine is chilled to at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit before opening.
    • Hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood.
    • Point the bottle away from yourself and others at a 45-degree angle.
    • Place a towel over the entire top and grasp the cork. Slowly and firmly twist the cork to break the seal.
    • 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.

    This New Year's Eve, before you open up that bottle of Champagne in celebration, remember to use these helpful tips. They may save your eyes and those of your loved ones.

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