For your information, I’m the resident frog at Inertia - that means I’m French :)
Growing up in France I was raised with a fun New Years’ Eve tradition: “Sabrer le Champagne“. This means beheading a bottle of Champagne with a saber/sword. It sounds as cool as it is.
Last week, I was part of a fantastic Champagne tasting group. Among the many fine bottles was a magnum of Pierre Gimmonet 1999 Champagne. As this was the only magnum of the bunch, our delightful host thought it would be in bad taste not to follow the Napoleonic tradition of decapitating a magnum. Having had some experience with this - and wanting to make up for bringing the only corked bottle of the night (1990 Comte Audoin de Dampierre) - I volunteered to be the executioner. Here’s the video:
Champagne Sabering in San Francisco
Before you attempt the coolest trick of the holidays in front of a crowd, you should know practice is recommended. Here are the easy steps:
- Prepare the field: remove both the foil and the wire cage covering the cork of you well-chilled bottle of bubbly.
- Find the neck: locate one of the two vertical seams running up the side of the bottle. Where the seam meets the lower lip of the bottle is the point where you will strike.
- Get ready to strike: grip the bottle firmly around its base. Point it at a 30 degree angle away from all people, windows and pets. Now take your saber (or the back edge of a chef’s knife or even a heavy metal tablespoon if you are feeling cocky) and lay the blade flat just below the lip at the weak spot.
- The crucial moment: Draw the sword back along the seam and then swing with full force away from your body, upward and into the bottom of the lip. Don’t forget to follow through (as with any sport, see the cork popping, be the ball). To minimize spillage, turn the bottle upright immediately afterward.
- Victoire! : if executed properly, the cork and bottle top will fly a few feet in the air (this is why you must aim carefully), you will not lose much Champagne but gain massive respect. This is your moment!