A champagne saber is the most fun way to pop a bottle of bubbly, in my opinion. And while it looks intimidating, it doesn’t need to be. You just need an expert teacher or tutorial and I promise, if you follow the directions here, you’ll be using a champagne saber in no time to open all your bottles.
History of the Champagne Saber
Sabering champagne dates back to the 1700s. And as with many things that date back thousands of years, we never really will know what the truth is. But here are two versions of how sabering came to be and it all traces back to Napoleon Bonaparte.
We’ve all heard Napoleon quoted saying,
“Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it.”Napoleon Bonaparte
It was said that to celebrate victory, the officers of Napoleon’s army used the one tool they had on hand to open bottles of champagne, a saber.
Now there’s another version of the story where the widow Clicquot would pass out bottles of champagne to the officers of Napoleon’s army and in an effort to empress her, they would saber the bottles as they were riding off.
How do you think the art of sabering champagne originated?
How to Saber of Bottle of Bubbly
I learned how to saber a bottle of bubbly at Varnum Vintners in Amity, Oregon. The fact that they had a sabering experience is the main reason we went to visit them. They taught me the dos and don’ts and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
In fact, you can see my very first attempt at sabering a bottle of bubbly at Varnum Vintners. Yes, I am one person who likes the warm up moves, but as I have learned (with a lot of practice), they are not necessary.
To successfully saber a bottle of bubbly, follow these simple steps:
- Chill the bottle of bubbly. The bottle must be really cold. And when I am teaching anyone how to saber a bottle for the first time, I usually put the neck of the bottle in ice for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil and the cage.
- Find the seam of the bottle. There are 2 seams, one on each side of the bottle.
- Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle in your non-dominant hand.
- With the saber in your dominant hand, follow the length of the seam up the bottle toward the neck. In one swift motion, apply a little pressure or force as you approach the neck of the bottle following-through until the very end. It is very important that you keep the saber in contact with the bottle at all times.
- Tilt the bottle back up, pour into glasses and ENJOY! Whatever you do, do NOT take a sip directly from the bottle. That is broken glass!
- And last but not least, go find the cork. Be careful, there will be broken glass surrounding it.
Trust me when I say, once you learn how to saber a bottle of bubbly, you will never want to open it by twisting the bottle ever again.
Where to Buy a Saber
I was lucky enough to be given a Bubbly Side of Life engraved champagne saber as a gift (thanks to my sister who convinced my parents I would really like it). Of course, we promptly ran outside so I could teach both of my nephews aka the bubblyologists how to properly saber a bottle.
And it’s my mission to teach everyone who comes over for any type of bubbly tasting how to properly saber a bottle so everyone can perform this super fun trick.
Thank you to my sister for doing all the hard work researching where to get a nice quality saber, quickly and at a price that won’t break the bank.
champagnesabers-us.com is my official go-to for all sabers. They truly meet all the requirements. The sabers are such high quality and the most reasonably priced as well.
Their customer service is top notch too! They will go out of their way to ensure you are selecting the perfect saber for the perfect occasion.
Shipping is super fact within 3 days even with engraving and is always free. If you want to give a gift that makes a statement, a champagne saber will definitely do it.
I had the pleasure of working with champagnesabers-us to create the perfect gift for my mentor. I wanted it to be absolutely perfect and they actually steered me away from the one I was thinking about getting and directed me to this one below.
They guided me through all steps and were so patient with me especially when I was going back and forth about which font to use. They engraved her full name (to respect her privacy, we removed the last name from the picture) and it was absolutely perfect. It made such a statement! I was in awe when it arrived and she loved it as well.
Sabering a Bottle Without a Saber
I get asked all the time, can I saber a bottle of bubbly without a champagne saber and the short answer is yes.
When I travel back home, I don’t often bring my champagne saber with me, but the bubblyologiists always want to open my bottles for me. So, you can use a chef’s knife, but be sure you are not using the sharp side. Only use the top where it is dull and be super careful with the sharp edge.
I have seen many people successfully saber a bottle with the base of a wine glass. While I have never tried this (stay tuned, you know I have to), I hear it’s just as easy.
Having an official champagne saber does make the experience a lot more fun, though, and definitely worth it if you’re a bubbly lover.
Have you ever sabered a bottle of bubbly? Join us on Instagram @bubblysideoflife and tag us in your sabering pictures and videos. You know we love any reason to celebrate with you!