June 27th, 2013 - by Pei Yeng
Champagne sabering or sabrage in French is a technique for opening a Champagne bottle with a Champagne sword (sabre).
There are several stories about the tradition of Champagne sabering (Sabrage). All of them begin in the early 19th century.
The most popular story is that of Napoleon’s soldiers just after the French Revolution. The sabre was the weapon of choice of the fearsome Cavalry. Hence the word sabrage originates from the word sabre. Napoleon’s spectacular victories across all Europe gave them plenty of reason to celebrate. During these events the cavalry opened the Champagne with their sabres to show their pride. This may encouraged by Napoleon, known to have said “Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it.” Since then Champagne sabering (sabrage) became popular in France.
Another story tells about the famous widow, Madame Clicquot who had inherited her husband’s small Champagne house. She used to entertain Napoleon’s soldiers in her vineyard in exchange for protection of her land. When the soldiers rode off with their Champagne given by Madame Clicquot, they would open it with their sabre to impress the young widow of 27 years old.
If you are interested to try Champagne sabering (sabrage), you will have the unique opportunity to do it during our Paris Champagne Day Trip in a specific winery. You will only need to pay the bottle used for sabering (from 15€). After the sabering, you will even get a certificate!
You can also visit our Facebook to see more exciting photos of Champagne sabering (sabrage).