Eye doctors in the U.S. have posted a video teaching people how to avoid eye injuries when opening a champagne bottle, warning that "hundreds of people" suffer serious eye injuries every year from doing it wrong.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that a cork can fly up to 80 km/h, causing "potentially blinding eye injuries."
The two-and-a-half minute video features a group of people having a party and then an introduction from a spokesperson warning how a "warm bottle of champagne and poor technique in removing the cork can really be a dangerous combination."
The video then shows how to properly remove the cork from the bottle of bubbly:
- 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.
The video wishes everyone to "toast the holidays with good eye health!"