Celebrate in Style: How to Perfect the Art of Champagne Sabering
Sabering or Sabrage is the technique of removing the neck of the bottle with one swift movement.
Around the world, celebration is synonymous with Champagne – whether it is a wedding, an anniversary or a podium finish. People love to pop open a bottle to mark the occasion. And one custom that enhances the grandeur of the occasion is the theatric art of sabering.
Sabering or sabrage is the technique of removing the neck of the bottle with one swift movement. It first became popular in Napoleon’s army, where soldiers decided that it was too much trouble to open a bottle the traditional way and so began using their swords to simply knock the tops off the bottle.
The bubbles in Champagne are carbon dioxide and the pressure caused by this gas in a single bottle of Champagne equals 620 kilopascals (90 psi). That’s as much as in a truck’s tyre! Which is why you should be very careful when sabering. The cork could take an eye out, or even worse.
The principle of sabering involves hitting the bottle at its weakest point which is at the intersection of the vertical seam and the lip. The current force at this point creates a crack and the pressure inside the bottle causes the cork and the top of the bottle to shoot out.
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