Health Watch – Happy New Year: Safe Bubbly

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

New Year's Eve wouldn't be the same without a champagne toast at midnight. But eye specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say you should be careful when uncorking the bubbly. Flying champagne corks can cause serious eye injuries.

To make your champagne safer, chill the sparkling wine to at least 45 degrees. A cork is less likely to pop unexpectedly from a cold bottle. Hold the cork down with your palm while you remove the wire hood. Face the bottle away from people when you're uncorking it, and hold it at a 45-degree angle. Cover the whole top of the bottle with a towel, and hold the bottle firmly with one hand while twisting and pulling the cork until it is almost out of the bottle. Then apply a slight downward pressure just as the cork breaks free.

Of course, you shouldn't drive when you've been drinking champagne. Calling a cab or having a designated driver is another way to avoid champagne-related injuries.


Dec. 2004