The party trick everyone wants to learn! Over the past two years in the champagne business, one of the most common topics that comes up is how to saber a bottle of champagne. I have done loads of research and many trial runs, and want to share my fool-proof method of sabering champagne!
First things first...THE RULES!
1.) Once the wire cage has been removed off the champagne cork, it is a loaded gun ready to fire! Don't take it off until seconds before you are ready to pop the bottle.
2.) Never aim the top of an un-caged bottle (or bottle you are going to saber) at a person. I know this seems obvious, but it must be said. Always point the top towards and open space that is free of breakable items.
3.) NEVER use cheap sparkling wine or prosecco. The pressure in the bottle isn't enough to pop the top so you risk the glass breaking all over you.
Okay now for the fun part!
After you select a traditional method sparkling wine or champagne to saber, all you need is a regular chef's knife. Sharp or dull, heavy or light, anything will do.
Step 1 - Freeze Bottle for 15 Minutes
Place an already cold bottle of bubbles in the freezer 15 minutes before you will saber it. And make sure to put on a timer! You do not want to forget about it in there, it will explode! The reason we are further chilling the bottle is to make sure when it is sabered, you don't loose a ton of the delicious bubbly! If you saber a bottle that is closer to room temperature, it will work fine, but you will loose quite a bit of the wine.
Step 2 - Remove Foil Wrapper
Remove the foil wrapper around the neck of the bottle completely. You will need a clean neck for the blade of the knife to slide along. Scrape off any remaining glue or residue it leaves as well. Some come right off fairly easily where others you're going to have to spend a little more time on.
Step 3 - Readjust Cage
This next part is not required, but I prefer to do this extra step as a precaution. I think the cage and glass remain intact better when it comes off and it also prevents the cork from popping prematurely and hitting something or someone. You'll want to untwist the wire cage and move it from the bottom of the neck's lip to the next indent up and refasten in by twisting it back on. Make sure the wire cage moves up a notch, or the bottle will not saber properly. If you are unsure on this step, just remove the cage completely, but keep in mind once it's off the cork can pop any minute so don't aim it at anyone or anything.
Step 4 - Find the Seam
Next you want to locate the seam of the bottle. There are 2 (one on each side) and it is where the 2 halves of the bottles are fused together. It is subtle, but when you move the bottle around in the light, you will be able to locate the seam. This is where you will run your knife along to pop the top. This help prevent the glass from breaking. You know you've all seen those hilarious videos of champagne sabering gone wrong. They're funny, but not when it happens to you!
Step 5 - Practice
Glide the knife gently up and down the seam of the bottle's neck at a 45 degree angle. Just practice the motion a few times before you are ready to commit and pop the top. You really want to focus on the edge of the knife hitting the lip of the bottle right in the corner.
Step 6 - Pop it!
Ready to let it fly? Okay, first and most important, remember to aim the bottle away from people and breakable items. Hold the knife (sharp side against the bottle) at a 45 degree angle. Commit to sabering and give the top a good solid hit, not like you are angry at the bottle, but enough to get solid contact. The cork will go flying and you're ready to celebrate your victory of your first sabering of many more to come! And the wine is completely safe to drink because the pressure from the champagne will shoot any pieces of glass out. Trust me when I say you will be the hit of the party! Please email me with any questions! Cheers!
*DISCLAIMER* Sabering a bottle of champagne can be dangerous, especially if done incorrectly, please try at your own risk.