How to Sabre Champagne
(or any sparkling wine)
Grab a cold bottle of champagne or sparkling wine. Remove the foil and wire cage. Strike the bottle with the champagne sabre where the seam of the bottle meets the lip.
But if you want to learn a little more before you get at it, read on.
Introduction: the Art of Sabrage
Sabering champagne can look intimidating. We get it. It looks like a party trick that only sommeliers have mastered. And it's not every day you practice opening a bottle with a champagne sword (unless you spend a lot of time at Palace HQ). Plus the technique is French, so you know it's extravagant.
Sabering is easier than you think. We promise.
Napoleon invented it, and he was a modest 5 foot 2. If he can do it, you can too. And the feeling when you saber - it's the same one you got as a child entering Disneyland for the first time.
Select a Bottle of Sparkling Wine.
Champagne and other sparkling wines made using the traditional method work best as they are under higher pressure inside the bottle. Sparkling wines made this way include Spanish Cava, Italian Franciacorta, Portuguese Espumante, and most bubbly from France and California.
The traditional method converts wine from still to sparkling during a second fermentation, with the wine never leaving the bottle.
Chill it. Get the bottle cold ❄❄❄.
The colder the bottle, the more brittle the glass becomes. That means ~40F / 5C or lower, the temperature of a standard refrigerator (not a wine fridge).
One way to cool your bottle down quickly is to stick it upside down into an ice bucket. This will cool the neck of the bottle — the part we will be sabering — quickly.
Find a Safe Space.
Find an empty area that you don't mind getting a little wet. And aim the bottle away from others. Being hit with a flying champagne cork is not pleasant. Don't learn this the hard way, like we did.
Get your PALACE Champagne Sabre ready
We designed our Sabre to open champagne, not just to be looked at. It's made from stainless steel for a reason.
Go get it. And feel free to caress it a little along the way.
The PALACE Champagne Sabre
Sabring the Champagne Bottle
1. Remove the foil and wire cage from the top of the bottle.
Remove the metallic foil wrapping the top of the bottle. Then untwist and remove the wire cage/fastener holding down the cork.
2. Locate the bottle's weak point: where the seam meets the lip.
Glass wine bottles are formed by fusing together two pieces of glass. The result of this process are two vertical seams that run the length of every bottle. Where these seams meet the lip of the bottle are where the bottle is weakest.
Feel for one of the seams with your thumb, and then run your thumb up to the lip of the bottle. This is your target. When it is struck, the glass lip and cork will pop cleanly off the bottle, and you'll be a hero.
3. Get into position.
Grasp the Sabre in your dominant hand, and the base of the bottle in your other. Hold the bottle at a ~45 degree angle, while balancing the sabre on the bottle.
4. Firmly strike the weak point of the bottle with the saber.
Hold the sabre firm against the bottle and run the blade smoothly up the neck, striking the bottle's lip where it meets the seam. Your blade should be pressed against the bottle during the entire motion. And make sure to follow-through, like a good golf swing.
Sometimes it takes a couple of tries. You'll get it.
Don't slice, chop or cut the bottle. This applies force perpendicular to the bottle - the wrong direction.
Instead, you want to apply pressure in the direction the bottle is pointing by hitting the lip using the edge of the sabre. This allows you to take advantage of the natural pressure already in the bottle pushing against the cork. The little bit of extra pressure created by the sabre pushing against the glass causes it to pop cleanly off.
5. Pour into glasses or spray your friends. Enjoy.
When you saber, the cork and a small ring of glass will explode off the end of the bottle and a little bit of bubbly will spill out. You win.
Now spray your friends, take a picture or have a drink. Whatever. You're a hero. Enjoy it. Just please don't put your mouth on the broken glass bottle top (Scott — are you listening?).
Until Next Time
That's all there is to it. Now remember what you learned. And next time there's a special occasion, or someone simply asks you for a bottle opener, grab the Sabre instead.