Food & Drink

How to sabre a bottle of champagne

Popping a champagne cork with all the frothy abandon of a victorious F1 driver isn’t going to endear you to anyone standing within a 20ft radius. For a classier way of opening your bottle of expensive fizz, follow the advice of Winechap.com’s Tom Harrow — promoting Champagne Billecart-Salmon.

1. “Ensure you’re using a good quality bottle, or else you’ll risk an explosion when the glass is put under pressure. Remove all foil around the cork so that the neck is fully exposed. Holding the bottle by the punt in your weaker hand, tilt it so it faces 45 degrees away from you.”

2. “Now you need to identify the seam that runs from bottom to top of the bottle. Follow it all the way up to the crown and where the two seams meet you’ll find the weakest part of the bottle — this is the area you’ll be aiming to hit with the sabre.”

3. “The next step is to utilise your sabre — just a kitchen knife will be fine if it’s relatively heavy — and use the blade to tickle the neck, running it up and down the seam while applying a bit of pressure. This creates vibration within the glass, making it weaker and preparing the bottle for the final strike.”

4. “Make sure you keep your striking wrist firm. The action comes from your shoulder and elbow but it shouldn’t be overly forceful — it’s all about hitting the sweet spot in one clean motion, much like a golf swing. The key is a good follow through, so the whole of the collar comes off with the cork still inside, and so that any loose glass will fly away from you and onlookers.”