It’s nice to end the year and start the New Year right toasting champagne to your family and friends at midnight. This February as the world celebrates Valentine’s day on the 14th, why not add some more drama popping the bottle the sabrage way? It is not that kind of difficult, but it is not that easy at it looks. It requires you two things, the first one is precision and the second one is the right tool to execute such art perfectly. It is not recommended to use your knives found in your kitchen. In champagne sabering or sabrage, you need a champagne sabre.
The history of sabrage is still debatable up to these days. But, one thing is for sure, it can be traced back to the French Revolution. The most popular story comes from Napoleon’s cavalry called the hussars. These brave riders improvised and used their swords to uncork the bottle instead of using corkscrew. It became a ritual to many as a noble art.
How does it work?
You don’t need sharp blades in order to cut the lip of the bottle. As mentioned, kitchen knives would not work. A clean and firm tap at the meeting point of the glass lip below the cork using champagne sabre or champagne sword enables the cork to fly away. When the art is performed, the first thing you have to be aware of is the bottle must be chilled. (Not iced-cold but chilled). It is not how much force you are going to use when sliding the champagne sword. The secret is what is happening inside the bottle of champagne.
Champagne bottles are not created equal so, you must choose the right bottle. It is highly recommended to use young vintage and no-vintage champagne which are eventually having more pressure on the cork compared with the vintage ones. Also, it is much cheaper, this technique works even with sparkling wine. So, if you don’t want to spoil the good wine, how about practicing the art, how about sparkling wine instead?
The most important part of the art is by finding the seam of the bottle. The seam is the weakest point of the bottle that can be found from the top to bottom. Make sure to remove the foil and cage first until you are ready to go. Keep in mind once you remove the cage, you have to act quickly. Keep your thumb on the cork just in case.
Always use champagne sword and champagne sabre. These weapons are no longer intended as weapon for thrusting. In fact, the blades are blunt which cuts the lip of the bottle better than typical knives. It is not the sharpness of the blade; it is the force which hits the rim of the bottle neck and the pressure inside the bottle. Make sure to point the bottle safely.
Let it go let it flow
If you done the execution perfectly let us congratulate you for that. But, it is not over just yet. Let the bubbles flow out from the bottle. This removes the fragments of the bottle. Always use champagne flutes and never drink such good wine directly (that’s greedy and you might cut your lips).