How Much Pressure Is There In a Champagne Bottle and Can Champagne Bottles Explode?

Have you ever had a blowout with a high pressure bike tire?

It sounds like a gunshot and can lift the wheel right off the ground.

A champagne bottle has about the same amount of pressure, roughly 90 pounds per square inch, or almost three times the pressure in a car tire.

True, you have to be careful when popping the cork, but the danger from sparkling wine bottles is virtually nonexistent these days.

Back in the days of hand-blown bottles, however, it was pretty much a given that 15% to 20% of all champagne bottles would spontaneously explode in storage, propelling jagged glass shrapnel in all directions.

And that was in a normal year.

In 1828, unusual weather conditions resulted in grapes with a higher than usual sugar content, increasing fermentation, and as many as 80% of the bottles from that vintage exploded, making the job of wine steward quite dangerous.

Shortly after that, a French chemist invented a device for detecting the amount of sugar in grape juice, which, along with wire masks for workers in wine cellars and stronger bottles, helped solve an epidemic of champagne bottle induced injuries.