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Sabering Champers is a Blast, Here's the Trick!


Watching someone pop a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine with a sword is a festive party trick we have enjoyed from all over from Europe to Africa. It dates back to the 16th century, Napoleon's times, when the victorious military would get tossed bottles of champagne while riding through town on their horses and gallantly pop off the tops with their swords.

sabering champagne

In January, we went wine tasting in Franschhoek, South Africa at Haute Cabriere, they make some impressive, very fine bubbles, and they gave us sabrage lessons downstairs in this massive cellar. Such a treat! Since I've been back I've taught a couple of dozen people how to do it with wonderful success, including our esteemed Senior Event Specialist, Patrick Ward.

I got a beautiful saber on eBay, they are also available on Amazon for twenty dollars and up, or you can use the back dull side of a kitchen knife. I get the least expensive sparkling wine at Grocery Outlet or some such for lessons. Most folks get it on their first try.

sabering champagne
Patrick Demonstrating the Steps 1 - 2 - 3 - BOOM!

The Trick

Champagne bottles are two halves put together, like a clam shell. You can see & feel the small vertical seams on each side. Pick one side, that's your runway. Go outside. Remove the foil and the cage, being careful to not trust that unhinged cork; aim it away from everyone as soon as you remove the cage. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle with your thumb in the punt - that's the indentation at the bottom of the bottle - and with the seam going up directly above where your thumb is safely tucked inside the punt. Run your saber from the base up to the neck nearly flush a few times, just to get a feel for it. When you're ready & your camera person is out of the way, just slide your saber gently but firmly all the way down the bottle on that seam, and off you pop!


Lynette La Mere

Pure Joy Catering, Founding Executive Chef


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