The Art of Sabrage: Opening Champagne Bottles in Style

If there's one thing we understand at Onshore Cellars, it's the spirit of celebration. As purveyors of fine wines and spirits to yachts around the world, we know that our clients aren't just looking for exceptional drinks, but exceptional experiences too. Whether you're commemorating a successful voyage or a special occasion on board, there's nothing quite like the pop of a champagne bottle to mark the moment. But why not take it a step further? Today, we'll take a deep dive into the fascinating world of Sabrage - a stylish and captivating way of opening champagne that's sure to impress your guests.

A Brief History of Sabrage

This dramatic method of uncorking champagne dates back to the Napoleonic era. As the legend goes, Napoleon's cavalrymen would use their sabers to open bottles of champagne to celebrate their victories, all without dismounting their horses. This theatrical display not only served to mark their triumphs, but also demonstrated their skill and precision. Today, the art of Sabrage has evolved into an elegant ritual that's certain to add a touch of magic to any occasion.

The Art and Science of Sabrage

Despite its flamboyant display, Sabrage is not just about spectacle; it's also rooted in science. A champagne bottle contains significant pressure - about three times that of a car tyre. This pressure is what propels the cork out of the bottle when the seal is broken. In Sabrage, the saber is slid along the seam of the bottle to hit the lip below the cork, and the pressure within the bottle does the rest, cleanly breaking the top of the bottle away.

The Steps to Sabrage

  1. Chill the Champagne: The first step is to thoroughly chill the bottle, ideally to about 6-7°C. The colder temperature makes the glass more brittle and easier to break.

  2. Prepare the Bottle: Remove the foil and wire cage from the bottle. Locate one of the two vertical seams running up the side of the bottle and hold it at a 30°- 45° angle.

  3. Ready the Saber: Hold the saber flat against the bottle, with the blunt edge towards the top.

  4. Strike with Confidence: Run the blade sharply along the seam towards the bottle's lip. Strike the lip decisively - your confidence and speed are key here.

  5. Serve and Enjoy: The top of the bottle, cork and all, should fly off, leaving a neat cut ready to pour. Ensure to check for any small shards of glass before serving.

Safety Considerations

While Sabrage is a delightful spectacle, safety should always be the primary concern. Always aim the bottle away from yourself and others. Remember, the force can send the cork and collar flying up to several meters. It's also worth mentioning that this technique should only be attempted with true champagne, as other sparkling wines might not be able to withstand the pressure.

Elevate Your Champagne Experience

Whether you're a yacht stewardess seeking to elevate your guests' experience or a wine enthusiast looking to add a dash of panache to your celebrations, mastering the art of Sabrage will ensure your events are remembered for a lifetime. At Onshore Cellars, we're committed to delivering not only the finest wines and spirits, but also the knowledge to make every sip an experience.

Explore our collection of champagnes perfect for Sabrage, or get in touch with us for a more personalised recommendation. Here's to making your celebrations truly extraordinary. Cheers!