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Beware the cork!


I come to you today to discuss a very important topic: champagne eye injuries.

Every New Year’s Eve, somebody somewhere gets a serious injury trying to open a champagne bottle.

As you probably know, those corks can be like small missiles and, in a worst case scenario, can land smack dab in the middle in the eye causing blindness and other serious head injuries.

Do you know the exact number of champagne-induced eye injuries in San Diego? Probably not. But if even one person suffers, isn’t that too many?

Gilles Fougeres of La Bastide Bistro in Scripps Ranch feels the same. He doesn’t want anyone’s New Year’s to be ruined by a flying champagne cork, so, as a public service, he is humbly offering these tips on how to properly open a bottle of bubbly:

-- Always keep champagne chilled at 45 degrees. Warm champagne corks tend to fly off the bottle at a more rapid rate.

-- Always pop away from your face and others. Many injuries occur to innocent bystanders who don't even know what hit them.

-- Use a towel over the top of the cork when unscrewing it. This helps defuse some of the force of the cork.

If someone is popped with a cork, take them to the hospital right-away and tape a paper plate or cup over the injury to protect it from further damage.

Although most champagne bottle openings occur without incidence, Fougeres is inviting those preferring to leave such matters in the hands of professionals, to join other such like-minded folk at his restaurant.

“Not only do we have a variety of champagnes to imbibe but we have yet to lose a customer due to an errant champagne cork.”