SABRAGE. Please note: Do not attempt this without the training and supervision of a professional.
Please view my Instagram video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cn9JmDAqbZ4/
The sabrage technique became popular during the Napoleonic Wars, as Napoleon’s army controlled the aristocratic estates of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At that time, the saber was the weapon of choice for the light cavalry, the hussars.
Each victory won by the Emperor’s army was celebrated with parties, and I read that at one of these events, Napoleon himself said, “In victory, you deserve champagne; in defeat, you need it.”
While I am no expert on champagne, I love a great glass of bubbles occasionally. I recently took a day trip to Reims, the capital of champagne in France.
There, at @champagnepolcouronne, I participated in a sabrage class. The activity always intimidated me, but I quickly realized how easy it is! It does not require brute force or strength. And the sabrage “saber” is a unique tool that looks a bit scary but has a flat edge - there is no sharp knife.
In brief, the steps are:
1 - Prepare the bottle by removing the wrapper but leave the metal cage on.
2 - Find the seam of the bottle. This is what you will use to run the sabrage knife along.
3 - With the cork safely pointed away from you and any other person or object, in a back and forth motion, run the sabrage knife along the seam five times.
4 - On the fifth time, you continue the motion strongly along the entire length and “cut” the neck and cork off the bottle in one quick movement.
The part of the bottle located immediately under the neck is thinner than the neck itself and is the most fragile. A stress concentration phenomenon occurs. The sabering creates a micro-fracture in the glass at the intersection of the seam and the neck.
Are you interested in learning more about the champagne region of France? Be sure to follow my gal pal Cynthia Coutu over at @delectabulles. She loves to feature women winemakers & offers tours, classes, & events.
Cheers 🥂 and bon week-end, darlings!
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