To open a bottle of chilled champagne, point it in a safe direction and after removing the foil and wire cage (keeping a digit on the cork!), turn the bottle slowly while holding the cork tightly. You won’t have the satisfying pop, but neither will you have the waste of good champagne or an injured hostess!
If you've never been to a wine tasting, be aware that a few matters of etiquette apply at most tastings. Familiarizing yourself with this etiquette will help you feel more comfortable. Otherwise, you're likely to be appalled by what you see or hear. Why are those people behaving like that?!