A flying champagne cork is an unguided missile capable of ruining anyone's party. Since they are small enough to pass by protective facial bones and can travel at high speeds, corks can be very dangerous projectiles and have been known to blind people by direct and severe trauma to an eye.
It is important to handle bottles of champagne and other sparkling wines correctly and safely. Be sure the bottle is cold before opening it. The cork in a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly. Chilling the wine to 45° Fahrenheit also improves its taste.
After removing the cork's foil covering, carefully remove the wire hood while holding down the cork with the palm of your hand.
Point the bottle away from yourself and others. Place a towel over the top of the bottle and maintain a firm grip on the cork itself. Never try to dislodge the cork with just your thumbs. Tilt the bottle at a 45° angle, grasp the cork, and slowly and firmly twist it to break the seal.
Keeping the bottle at a 45° angle, hold it firmly with one hand and use the other hand to slowly turn the cork with a slight upward pull. Continue twisting until the cork is almost out of the neck of the bottle. Counter the force of the cork with a slight downward pressure just as the cork breaks free from the bottle. Now that the cork is safely out of the bottle, you can pour a glass and enjoy some champagne. Cheers!