“This origin of this display dates to the battles of Napoleon Bonaparte, who opened Champagne with his saber in victory and defeat.” — Paul Ebeling
St. Regis is known for their ceremonious Champagne sabering displays. Not only does every St. Regis property saber Champagne at Sunset for their guests to kick off the evening, but at many of their hotels like the St. Regis Bora Bora, butlers will saber Champagne at any time per guests’ request, as every butler is trained in the art of Champagne sabering.
Here Bora Bora’s Head Butler Ritchie Chung weighed in teach us on how to properly saber Champagne.
Mr. Chung says to “prepare the bottle by chilling it between 45°F to 48°F (or 7°C to 8°C) for 24 hrs to lower its pressure and vibration as the cold temperature will make the glass more brittle and easier to saber.”
Once your bottle has chilled for 24 hrs, bring it out of the refrigerator 20 mins prior to sabering. Then, chill the bottle upside down in an ice bucket for 20 mins immediately before opening. That says Mr. Chung is the secret to success.
Opening a bottle with a Champagne saber is associated with grandiose celebrations especially in the hospitality community, but sabering Champagne should not be reserved for long-awaited events. It can be a super way to start an evening with a lover or friends and family.
Mr. Chung uses an ornamental Champagne saber, as they do at all St. Regis Hotels from Christofle Haute Orfevrerie.
In addition to the knife, you will need to keep a towel nearby, a Champagne ice bucket to keep the bottle cold, and flutes to pour into.
For sabering Champagne, here are the tools you need to do it at home, as follows:
- Champagne Saber from Williams Sonoma
- Champagne Glasses
- Champagne/Ice Bucket
- A Bar Towel
Now, follow Mr. Chung’s method by taking out the Champagne and reveal the cork by removing the foil, unwind and discard the wire basket.
Make sure you have a tight grip on the base of the bottle, and hold it at a 35° to 40° angle.
Next, forcibly slide the blade of the saber along the body toward the neck. The force of the blade as it hits the lip of the bottle’s neck will break the glass.
If done correctly, the cork and collar will remain intact, and you can pour the now-open Champagne into your flutes for a toast. Cheers!
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!
Champagne, saber, toast,