As holiday revelries shift into high gear, the American Academy of Ophthalmology wants to remind us to be careful around bottles of bubbly. To paraphrase a line from “A Christmas Story,” one of everyone’s favorite holiday movies, if you don’t handle the uncorking of a bottle of champagne correctly, you might well put your eye out.
Here are tips and a video explaining how to keep your celebration from ending in a champagne-cork-related injury:
• 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.
• Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and any bystanders and hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood on the bottle.
• Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
• Twist the bottle while holding the cork at a 45-degree angle to break the seal. Counter the force of the cork, using downward pressure, as the cork breaks free from the bottle.
A FAREWELL NOTE: Well, just when I’ve finally figured out how to spell “ophthalmologist,” The Checkup is closing down. I have been writing the blog since its inception in April 2008, and it’s been a great and edifying experience. I have been particularly proud that the people who comment on Checkup blog entries have been among the smartest and most articulate — and least nasty — of the commenters I’ve seen anywhere. I appreciate every one of my readers, and I’ll miss writing for you.
To your health!