To open a bottle of sparkling wine, the trick is to not let in too much oxygen all at once or else it froths out and spills everywhere, creating a sticky mess and wasting perfectly good bubbly. This is great if you’re celebrating winning a major sporting event but a crying shame for when you actually want to drink the stuff — especially if you spent the money (as you should, this is an indulgence) to get quality.
I use a clean tea towel as my accessory to avoid this. Remove the foil and undo the wire cage to expose the cork. Then surround the neck of the bottle and the cork with the tea towel, and through the towel, gradually worry and twist the cork up, milimeter by milimeter, which should take about twenty seconds, until the pressure in the bottle takes over and does the rest of the work for you. The tea towel both arrests the inflow of air into the system, and it catches the cork and bounces it back quickly to shut off the intake of air. It only takes a second or to to arrest the overflow reaction of sudden carbonation, and your entire bottle can be used as it was intended — to pour into flutes and be consumed by human beings, not shot in a foamy trail all over the floor to scare the hell out of your cat and to acquaint your dog with a taste for expensive fizzy wine.
In fact, I’ve been sleeping poorly these past several days so chances are excellent that after wrapping up my prediction posts timed for around midnight, I’m going to wrap things up early and go to bed well before midnight. I’ve not stayed up to ring in the New Year more than two times in the last decade and neither this year nor the upcoming one seem to offer much reason to make it the exception to the rule. Besides, we have a nice bottle of prosecco in the refrigerator which we’ll have tomorrow — to be mixed with fruit juice along with the rest of our breakfast.
Auguri, loyal Readers.